Image Source: Getty / Rich Fury
This post has been updated with new information.
Bachelor in Paradise's fourth season was temporarily suspended following an incident involving contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. The pair are at the heart of a heated controversy over a drunken sexual encounter that went wrong on the reality show's set, which had everyone from host Chris Harrison to former Bachelor contestants speaking out. The details of what exactly went down are still unconfirmed, although Warner Bros. now reports it never found any proof of misconduct in the footage, and DeMario denies all allegations. Here's a timeline of everything that's happened since the news first broke:
- Production on Bachelor in Paradise is suspended. ABC announced they'd halted production on Sunday, June 11, and Warner Bros. released a statement on the matter shortly afterwards. "We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico," they said. "We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action."
- Rumors about Corinne and DeMario start on Twitter. LA Times writer Amy Kaufman tweeted out information she got from a source close to Bachelor in Paradise, who revealed production on the show was shut down because of Corinne and DeMario getting physical in the pool. "On the first day of production, Sunday, DeMario and Corinne got extremely drunk, per my source," she wrote. "Corinne came up to DeMario at the bar and kissed him. They proceeded to the pool, where they got naked. From this point forward, things turned into 'soft-core porn.' They did not have sex. But it was very raunchy."
- A producer on the show takes action. A producer who witnessed the hook-up was apparently uncomfortable with what happened in the pool and is now suing the production for misconduct. E! News reported that the producer in question filed the complaint without personally witnessing the event or watching the footage on tape.
- BIP season four cast members leave Mexico. According to blogger Reality Steve (Steve Carbone), cast members were flown out of Sayulita, Mexico, where the season was filming, to Houston on that Sunday.
- Disturbing details about the hook-up come to light. By June 12, a source told People that what happened was more serious than simply a drunken hook-up; Corinne may have been too drunk to consent during the sexual encounter. "The show absolutely values the primacy of consent, and this instance it appears as though conduct allegedly occurred without the proper consent having been given," one source revealed to the magazine.
- BIP contestants react. An anonymous contestant on the show also spoke to People on June 12, revealing that the other cast members are angry the situation escalated to that point at all. "People are pissed, and not just at DeMario. We're pissed that this whole thing happened," the contestant said. "They could have seen that she was drinking too much and that he was taking advantage. They could have stopped this before it got this far. But they decided to let it go, and let it happen, and see what happened? So, I'm angry at the show, and everyone else is too." Past and current members of the franchise further aired their grievances and offered messages of support on Twitter.
Image Source: ABC
- Conflicting reports about the nature of Corinne and DeMario's relationship emerge. Despite TMZ's early report that "everything was fine" between the pair after the drunken encounter and that DeMario and Corinne were on good terms, sources close to Corinne denied it. They alleged to the website that she "was in a blackout state" when the hook-up happened and doesn't remember a thing but is placing most of the blame on the producers for not stepping in.
- The BIP cast was put in lockdown after the incident. A contestant told People on June 12 that the cast was put on lockdown just days after arriving in Mexico. "We were told to stay in a certain part of the [resort] while they figured out what the hell had happened," the contestant said. "We knew something bad had happened; there was a dark energy that came around the house. You have to understand that we weren't even there a week." After one of them asked a producer if the season would resume, they were told no. "She said that there was an investigation going on, and that could take days, weeks, or even months."
- Chris Harrison warns fans of "misinformation out there" regarding controversy. Longtime host Chris Harrison released a statement on June 13. "Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there, I don't find that to be possible anymore," he began, before noting that everyone's well-being is of utmost importance. "It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately . . . they're moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that's done, a clear, concise decision can be made about where we go from here." He finished his statement by noting that "there's a a lot of misinformation out there" about the incident in the press, and that he and the rest of the Bachelor in Paradise team "urge everyone to be patient" until their investigation is complete.
- Corinne breaks her silence. Information about Corinne and DeMario had been coming only from anonymous sources up until Wednesday, June 14, when Corinne set the record straight via her publicist, Stan Rosenfield. "I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place," she said. "As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality." She also explained that she's hired a full legal team, including high-powered Hollywood attorney Marty Singer.
- DeMario comes out swinging with a statement criticizing rumors. "It's unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations," the 30-year-old contestant said via his publicist, Eve Sarkisyan-Nunn, on June 14. "I will be taking swift and appropriate legal action until my name is cleared and, per the advice of legal counsel, will be seeking all available remedies entitled to me under the laws."
- A second producer files a complaint against BIP. Like the first producer who's suing the show, a second member of the production team has come forward to file a complaint about whether or not Corinne was able to give consent during her encounter with DeMario despite only hearing about what happened through second or third parties. Reality Steve reported on June 14 that "all parties involved are wishing they could take it back. They never thought it would reach a level that it did."
- DeMario gets fired from his job. On June 15, DeMario told Inside Edition that, as a result of the allegations of sexual misconduct, he was fired from his job as an executive recruiter. "My character has been assassinated. My family name has been drug through the mud," he said, echoing his earlier statement. "The only thing I want is for the truth to come out. I feel like the truth will be able to come out in those videos . . . I don't blame anyone right now. All I want is the tapes."
- Evan Bass pleads with ABC not to cancel the show. In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter on June 17, Evan — who met fiancée Carly Waddell last season — defended BIP. "Bachelor in Paradise is my show. It's my jam. Personal redemption, lifelong friends and the woman of my dreams are just a few of the many takeaways I found living on set for weeks at the air-condition-less resort," he said, before noting that "as contestants, our actions and words are our responsibility, including alcohol consumption."
- Marty Singer responds to allegations made by Jasmine Goode. After Jasmine, a fellow season four contestant, told E! News that Corinne had "forced herself" on three other male contestants the night she hooked up with DeMario, Corinne's lawyer responded via the same outlet. "Several cast members and producers have come forward confirming the facts disclosed by my client. If nothing improper occurred on the set, why was the production shut down within two days of production?" he said. "Shutting down production of a television series is almost unheard of. The investigation and subsequent shutting down of the series was initiated based on complaints made by producers on the set of Bachelor in Paradise."
- Bachelor in Paradise resumes filming season four. While many assumed the drunken hook-up gone wrong between DeMario and Corinne meant season four was gone for good, apparently the footage of what happened yielded no evidence of misconduct and production on season four of the show will resume. Warner Bros. confirmed the news with a second official statement on June 20, noting that they conducted the investigation "with the assistance of an outside law firm" and that they do not intend to release the videotape of the incident. "We can say, however, that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member," they said. "Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy."
- DeMario is reportedly invited back to the show. Since Warner Bros. found none of the allegations to be true, Demario was reportedly invited back on June 20 to continue filming season four of BIP. He declined the invite, and it's still unclear if Corinne will return as well.
- E! News sits down with DeMario for a revealing interview. After the scandal had somewhat died down, DeMario agreed to an interview where he explained his side of the story in great detail. He named Corinne as the "aggressor" in the situation, but defended her against slut-shamers.
- Bachelor in Paradise reportedly institutes stricter rules while filming. TMZ reports that the show now has a two-drink-per-hour maximum, which will be implemented by both producers and the show's bartender. The cast will also not be allowed to have sex without the express permission of a producer.
- Corinne confirms she will not return to BIP. In a statement made through her publicist, the reality star put an end to speculation about her return to the show. "My team's investigation into this matter has now been completed to my satisfaction. I am also happy about the changes that have been made to the production of Bachelor in Paradise. While I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been a participant on The Bachelor, and while I was invited to return to Bachelor in Paradise when production resumed, I respectfully made the decision not to return."