Earlier this week, I wrote about the Bachelor in Paradise sexual misconduct allegations. Over the last few days, more sources have come out -- many former contestants and Bachelor rejects are just dying to get a headline – but there is not a flood of new information. Chris Harrison released a statement telling people not to jump to conclusions and that they will get back to work as soon as possible. (We can all agree Chris Harrison is an assface, right?) Someone may have been raped while filming, so um, who is still complaining about losing a season of Bachelor in Paradise?! (Also he looks like Sean Spicer.)
Despite all the “sources” that are running to every tabloid from PEOPLE to Radar Online, the story has largely stayed the same: the entire incident hinges on whether or not Corinne Olympios was able to consent to sexual activity with DeMario Jackson.
The Cut has the most graphic, detailed description of the alleged assault to date – an account that is in dispute. Please take heed that there are disturbing details -- you can read about it here. Corinne has decided to come forward, and released a statement to Variety. I’ve included it in full because I think it’s important to have the context.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened the night of June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production. As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality. As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including hiring an attorney to obtain justice and seeking therapy to begin dealing with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening.”
She is now repped by Marty Singer (yes you recognize his name, and everything you need to know you can read about here). She has also hired Stan Rosenfield, a very powerful publicist who has worked with George Clooney, Will Smith, Robert De Niro, to name a few. Look who this team chose for the statement – Variety. A trade paper, not a tabloid. This isn’t entertainment anymore, it’s news.
DeMario, who has been “spotted” several times by TMZ and is chatting up photographers, has also released a statement to E!. I’ve also included it in full:
"It's unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations. 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."
His statement (wisely) avoids mention of Corinne but does maintain he is being buried by “false claims and malicious allegations.” To be clear, he is not being investigated by the police at this time. He has not been accused of anything by Corinne.
He is also in a vortex of leakers and attention whores who will do anything to latch onto a headline, no matter how disturbing the details. DeMario is entitled to defend himself but whoever is advising him needs to keep him away from texts, social media and paps (his “friend” already sold texts to Page Six). He should also be wary of his “friends” on the inside of The Bachelor universe too, because when push comes to shove, who do you think they would choose to save – DeMario or their own asses and livelihood?
As Corinne’s statement clarifies, she has very little memory of the incident and the complaint was made by a producer. One thing she is absolutely certain about: “I am a victim.” There is nothing vague about that, even if the details are still murky.
She specifies that she has hired a team to seek the truth and, judging by her choices, to protect herself. Marty Singer is ferocious for his clients, everyone knows that. Corinne needs not just that protective buffer between herself and all the people who are trying to get at her right now, but she also needs someone who is not afraid of Warner Brothers. Everyone associated with the show, and even many entertainment lawyers with clients who do business with the studio, would be afraid. Marty Singer got Charlie Sheen PAID after the Two and a Half Men debacle – Warner Brothers is probably scared of him. The production company, through their handling of the incident and the abundance of leaks, have proven that they are either not willing or not able to protect her and she is very smart to create her own allies.
Beyond the legal aspect, her statement has tones of vulnerability, confusion and an emerging picture of someone who is in the early days of confronting a trauma in her life. If the details in The Cut are correct, not only was she assaulted, but she was also carried around and left to sleep it off when she should have been seeing a doctor. (I watched the show for one season – ONE! – and a medic was called because someone mixed medication with alcohol and felt strange. He was fully awake in the ambulance.) She was surrounded by sober adults who were at work. The entire show is centered around drinking and possible couplings – the initial incident happened on camera. There is no sneaking away. Closely monitoring the cast behavior is, one can assume, a major part of a reality TV producer’s job.
Allow me to play Marty Singer for a moment: How many drinks did she have before she got into the pool? Did anyone suggest to call a medic? Was there one on site? How far away? She had no cellphone, she couldn’t call one for herself, correct? Who carried her? How far? What attempts were made to wake her up? Was she coherent? Did anyone check on her in the night? How was she put to bed that night?
These are also questions Corinne will have to find out about herself, in the third person, while a tape of her possibly being assaulted is in the hand of TV execs who have the power to decide if any behavior crossed a line… on their show. Would you trust that decision making process?
I also read a report in US Weekly (which is under new ownership, but probably still has reality TV contacts from Radar Online) that the next day, before production was shut down, she was told she was not allowed to drink.
Final question: Was DeMario told the same?