Bachelor in Paradise's Jared Haibon on Why Resuming Filming After 'Alarming' Scandal Is a Good Thing
At a New York City event for dating app Hinge on Wednesday night, Bachelor in Paradise alums Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon opened up to PEOPLE about the show's controversy
The Bachelor in Paradise controversy had fans reeling as season 4 production was halted over concerns about an alleged sexual encounter between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson — and former stars of the reality show were just as shocked.
But on Tuesday, Warner Bros. announced that production was back on — and that an investigation found no evidence of misconduct on the show’s set.
At a New York City event for dating app Hinge on Wednesday night at Tavo in the West Village, Paradise alums Ashley Iaconetti, 29, and Jared Haibon, 28, opened up to PEOPLE about the controversy, assuring viewers that the set is a safe place.
“If anything like what was being alleged at first was occurring, I have full faith the production staff would step in to stop it,” said Haibon, who previously appeared on seasons 2 and 3 of Paradise after losing out on love on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s season of The Bachelorette.
“I’m not sure what happened, but I’m glad they’re resuming filming,” he added. “If ABC conducted an investigation and feels confident enough to return to filming, then they would have to be 100 percent confident that they’re not in the wrong at all.”
Haibon, who said he trusted producers, admitted he was surprised when news first broke about the alleged incident.
“It was pretty shocking,” he said. “Anytime there are allegations about consent with two people, it’s alarming.”
Still, he struggled to believe what was being alleged could actually happen under the watchful eyes of producers: “I’ve been through this process many times,” he said. “Even when I first heard the news, I couldn’t picture a scenario where something severely bad was occurring and the producers wouldn’t step in. I know these producers, as we all do.”
Iaconetti, who competed for Chris Soules‘ heart on The Bachelor and dated Haibon on seasons 2 and 3 of Paradise said that she trusted Olympios’ account of the situation. As for Jackson? Well, his Bachelorette track record wasn’t the greatest.
“I don’t think DeMario came across very well on Rachel [Lindsay]‘s season,” she said of the 30-year-old executive recruiter, who was booted from The Bachelorette week 2 after it was discovered he had been dating someone else back home.
“I don’t hear great things from my friends who’ve met DeMario,” she said. “But also I have no right to judge him, because I’ve never met him.”
In the days that followed production’s suspension, both Jackson and Olympios, 24, and retained legal representation and issued statements — with Olympios calling herself a “victim” and Jackson claiming his character “has been assassinated.”
Though production is slated to resume soon, Warner Bros. would not comment as to whether either reality star would resume filming the rebooted season.
RELATED VIDEO: Corinne Olympios’ Lawyers’ Own Investigation Will Continue Into Bachelor in Paradise Sex Scandal
Olympios’ attorney has confirmed they will continue to pursue the allegations despite the results of Warner Bros’ investigation.
“It needs to be made clear that production of Bachelor in Paradise was shut down because of multiple complaints received from BiP producers and crew member on the set,” attorney Martin Singer told PEOPLE in a statement on Tuesday. “It was not shut down due to an complaint filed by Corinne against anyone.”
“It comes as no surprise that Warner Bros., as a result of its own internal investigation, would state that no wrong doing had occurred,” Singer continued. “Our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward revealing what they saw and heard.”
Bachelor in Paradise will return later this summer on ABC.