This week, we finally got to see what went down between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson and, well, we now know that there really wasn’t any reason to stop production and call this a sexual assault. It brought up a hold bunch of issues with many contestants saying that they believe race played a factor and that they felt bad for Jackson.
After being accused of assaulting Olympios, things got pretty bad for Jackson and he even lost his job. Now that a full investigation cleared him and the team deemed nothing improper had occurred, he’s left having to put the pieces of his life back together.
“I feel like they rolled enough of the tape,” Jackson told ET. “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. 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. 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 and, 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.”
While he’s relieved that the world knows that he is innocent, Jackson does feel some frustration with how ABC handled things publicly. “I do wish [they explained more],” Jackson said. “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.”
To be fair, they had to complete their investigation fully to avoid seeming like they were taking sides before they could comment. It makes sense but it still sucks for him. Still, he has been traumatized by the experience.
“I signed up for this reality,” Jackson explained. “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.’ 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.”
He added that things did get pretty dark. “I never thought, ‘Oh, I’m gonna kill myself,’ but it crossed my mind,” said Jackson. He also sought therapy and lost 20 pounds from stress. “I remember just talking to my mom, like, ‘My life’s over. Like, I don’t even want to live anymore.’ And she, like, lost it.”
Poor guy. Let’s hope this can be the beginning of a new, better chapter of healing for everyone involved.