DeMario Jackson says he’s done with reality TV.
Two days after footage of his controversial, drunken hookup with Bachelor in Paradise costar Corinne Olympios aired on the show’s two-night premiere, the 30-year-old is getting real about why he’s planning to take a step back from the limelight.
“When all this happened, when I got sent home, I was in the back of the car destroyed — because we went for it that night,” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter. “I had a moment of clarity that sobered me right up. I’m in the back of a car thinking, ‘Wow, my reality career is shorter than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries.’ I’ve been on reality TV for what, two and a half episodes? And I’m the most known reality guy of all 34 seasons for having a wannabe girlfriend and a sex tape. No more reality for me!”
Olympios and Jackson both subsequently retained legal counsel and released statements in the days following the production shut down by Warner Bros. to investigate the “misconduct” and all of the contestants were sent home.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on 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,” Olympios said in a statement to PEOPLE via her rep.
Jackson said in his own statement: “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.”
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Despite both Warner Bros.’ and Olympios’ team’s investigations both concluding no wrongdoing, Jackson acknowledges the fallout of the incident has been significant, including a 25-lb. weight loss, racist and sexist backlash, family drama and thoughts of suicide in the weeks following the controversy.
Still, he tells THR now: “I’m relieved. My story has never changed. I’ve never cracked. I’ve never been angry or upset. I just told my truth.”
And he will continue to tell that story during next Tuesday’s episode during a pre-taped sit-down interview with Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison.
“It was a very emotional interview,” says Jackson. “Chris and I, as you can see from the Men Tell All, are playful. I can play up my villain persona, but this is my real life. This actually affected my real life. Chris knew how to poke the bear and really get the best out of me.”
And though he would “100 percent” do it all over again, he did commend the changes producers made once BiP resumed filming because “I would hate for my biggest enemy to go through what I’ve been through this summer.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.