“Bachelor in Paradise” finally returned Monday night for a season that almost didn’t happen.
The Bachelor Nation spinoff, which stars the castoffs of previous seasons of “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” looking for another chance at love, was temporarily suspended after a sexual assault accusation following a drunken hookup between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
Instead, after Warner Bros. cleared Jackson of wrongdoing, “Bachelor in Paradise” resumed shooting.
But rather than pretend nothing happened, the show opened Monday with a message from host Chris Harrison, who called the incident “an extraordinarily stressful and emotional time for our cast and all of our crew.”
In introductions taped before the incident, Jackson, who competed for love on Rachel Lindsay’s season of “The Bachelorette,” said he wanted to “find the next Mrs. Jackson.”
Olympios, on the other hand, said she was just looking to have fun.
“I’m not gonna jump on the first guy that, you know, shows me a little bit of attention,” she told Harrison.
“I’m doing me, and if you want to have this, you got to work real hard.”
Jackson and Olympios were first shown bonding over their mutual connections to New Jersey in a touchy-feely moment that ended with a shoulder rub.
Later scenes, filmed about half an hour after shooting started, showed them cuddling on the beach before heading up to the pool fully clothed.
With just a few minutes left in the episode, producers pulled Jackson and Olympios away from the group as the rest of the competitors tried to figure out what was happening.
With most of the cameras turned off, the other suitors said they have no idea what happened before the producers halted production.
Olympios, who originally said she was a victim and didn’t remember the encounter, said last month that she and her team had gotten “to the bottom of what had occurred” and were ending their own investigation.
“I felt victimized by the fact that others were judging me through conflicting and unsubstantiated reports, while I myself had no recollection of the events that transpired,” she said in the statement. “My team’s investigation into this matter has now been completed to my satisfaction.”
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