Though Jackson and Olympios were both offered the chance to return to Paradise after concerns over alleged misconduct were dismissed this past June, Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter: “I wasn’t mentally or physically right.”
He revealed, “I lost 25 lbs. I hadn’t been sleeping. And I didn’t want to be under the microscope.”
Calling his encounter with Olympios on the first day of filming “100-percent consensual,” he is still trying to wrap his head around how the situation exploded into a full-blown controversy that transformed production norms and sparked a cultural debate.
“Even today, after all of this, I’m still sitting here confused,” he said. “I still feel like I’m missing 25 percent of the story, even though I’m in the story.
RELATED VIDEO: How the Bachelor in Paradise Premiere Addressed DeMario Jackson/Corinne Olympios Scandal
And while he claims he’s suffered fallout both personally and professionally, Jackson did ultimately feel mostly vindicated by the two-part season premiere’s handling of an incredibly tumultuous moment.
“I’m relieved,” he said. “My story has never changed. I’ve never cracked. I’ve never been angry or upset. I just told my truth.”
Unsurprisingly, his relationship with Olympios effectively ended in Mexico, but he did note that they “run in the same circles. L.A. is a very small. But I haven’t [seen her]. If I do see her, it would be nothing but love for her and her family. There’s not enough time in this world to focus your energy on hate. … I hope she finds peace within herself. That’s the main thing through all of this. That’s the only thing I can say.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.