Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, the reality star opens up about the incident that briefly shut down the Bachelor/ette summer spin-off, which places franchise alums in an elaborate game of romantic musical chairs in Mexico. This season, things took a sharp turn after a sexual encounter occurred between Olympios and fellow contestant DeMario Jackson — both of whom have said they were drinking that day.
Warner Bros. subsequently suspended production on the show and launched an internal investigation into “allegations of misconduct,” later determing nothing improper had occurred. Production resumed — this time without Olympios and Jackson. (For more on the scandal and its aftermath, here’s everything you need to know.)
“With something like this, you can’t help but learn a lot about yourself,” Olympios, 24, tells PEOPLE. “I really learned a lot about myself. I need to be more aware of my body and medicines I put in my body. I need to just be more aware of my surroundings.”
- For more on Olympios and Bachelor in Paradise, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Olympios says she was taking a medication that reacted negatively with her alcohol consumption, prompting a “severe black-out.”
“I drank a little too much when I was on medication,” she says. “I shouldn’t have been drinking that much and mixing different alcohols.”
“The only regret I have is letting myself drink too much — that’s it,” she adds. “It was unfortunate. But you know what, I’m an adult and I have to move past it.”
Olympios says she hasn’t spoken to Jackson since production was shut down, but she maintains there’s “no bad blood” between the two of them.
“I strongly believe he had no bad intentions at all,” she says. “It was all good. It was unfortunate that no one really knew how intoxicated I actually was at the time — I believe that nobody knew that. It was nobody’s fault.”
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Now, Olympios says she’s “weaning” herself off that particular medication — and cutting back on drinking altogether.
“I’m actually weaning myself off the medication that is really bad with drinking,” she says. “I only have a glass of wine at dinner, not even find the whole glass — maybe twice a week. I really don’t drink much at all.”
Olympios will sit down with host Chris Harrison to finally discuss the incident on Tuesday’s episode of the ABC reality show, and she says she’s relieved the ordeal is coming to a close.
“Anything like this, it takes a toll on you,” she says. “It’s not easy to deal with. It’s embarrassing. It’s really hard.”
“I kind of went under the radar,” she adds.” I really just took time for myself and really devoted my time to my family. I’ve been doing a lot better. I have a lot of support from my family and friends. I’m really happy that it’s finally coming to an end.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.