ABC aired a "very important episode" of Bachelor in Paradise that featured a group discussion of maybe felt a bit more like an after school special.
Some fans maybe felt patronized, but it's a super important topic -- especially for their younger viewers.
But while DeMario couldn't speak for himself on air, he's given a new interview and ... it sounds like things got really, really rough for him.
We all remember how production on Bachelor in Paradise was shut down in June after two producers expressed concerns that Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson hooking up in the pool was some form of sexual assault.
The two of them were said to be more or less plastered at the time after having been drinking all day.
Sometimes people plan hookups and deliberately get drunk for them, but nobody had the impression that Corinne or DeMario had planned much of anything.
For a while, we didn't know what had happened, and there was even speculation that perhaps some overly eager producers had arranged the hookup in a misguided attempt to boost ratings.
While an investigation eventually determined that no sexual assault took place, some rumors unfairly targeted DeMario Jackson as if he were some sort of predator.
To be clear, no one involved ever accused DeMario of anything of the sort. Not the producers, not ABC, and not Corinne Olympios herself.
Unfortunately, these unfounded accusations against DeMario cropped up anyway.
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, DeMario Jackson talks about how the show handled it with their recent special and about how the Bachelor in Paradise scandal impacted him.
He starts with their very special episode:
"I feel like they rolled enough of the tape. You can’t show too much, because that’s gonna disrespect Corinne and I, and I just feel like it wouldn’t be the best or the classiest thing to do. But, they showed enough."
He's absolutely right -- if they hadn't shown anything, questions would linger for eternity.
"The public, they need to see something. I think they just needed to see [that] she’s lucid. I’m lucid. We’re swimming around. We’re having fun. We’re friends."
Humans are a very visual species and people need to see things to believe them, not hear them.
"It wasn’t like I’m some predator who was at the bar waiting for the girl to get extremely drunk, then I’m like, ‘Oops! Let me pounce on her.’ No, it was very mutual."
There are plenty of ways that sexual assaults take place, including between friends, but based on what literally everyone is saying, that's not what happened here.
"In fact, she was a little bit of the aggressor in it, and I love how they painted the picture and the story of us actually talking, mingling, getting to know each other."
That's very consistent with what other witnesses described.
"I do wish [they explained more]. Like, that very moment of us getting into the pool and everything, that’s when we had kinda got, you know, a little more cozier, so to speak. Everything happened and then we were just finished."
"I signed up for this reality. I feel guilty, because my mom didn’t sign up for this, and she’s been getting harassed, people tweeting at her, on her Instagram saying, ‘Your son’s a rapist.’"
We wouldn't message any members of even Bill Cosby's family about what a monster he is.
Direct your hate at bad people, not the relatives of people who haven't been accused of anything.
"That was the part I was most sad about. I feel like I created this for my family, in a sense, by being a little reckless. … And I just want to say I’m sorry to them."
There can always be fallout for celebrities. It goes with the territory, sometimes.
Alarmingly, DeMario describes some of his feelings during the scandal as: "suicidal, but not like the suicidal that you might think."
That's frightening, but he clarifies.
"I never thought, ‘Oh, I’m gonna kill myself,’ but it crossed my mind."
That sounds like suicidal ideation, which is relatively normal, rather than a suicidal impulse.
More like how people might think "gee, I wish I could just die instead" when faced with something unpleasant like finishing all of their work at the end of the semester or attending a family gathering.
We hope that it wasn't more than that, at least.
DeMario says that he's totally "here for" Corinne Olympios and that, despite his experience, he bears no ill will towards Bachelor in Paradise.
If you're wondering why there was an investigation to begin with if the determination of no sexual assault left Corinne Olympios satisfied with the investigation, it's because Corinne didn't remember what had happened.
This wasn't because she was somehow so drunk that she couldn't think or form memories.
Corinne has stated that this was the result of unthinkingly mixing prescription pills with alcohol.
While she's obviously not responsible for what happened -- the accusations came from producers, not from her -- this could have been handled without any fuss if Corinne had remembered events and not had to rely upon what other people told her happened.
We can only imagine how terrifying it would be to go for weeks, told that you were somehow victimized in an event that you cannot remember.
Hopefully, Corinne will share her experience with the world soon. Or, at least, whatever she's comfortable sharing.