June 14, 2017 02:25 PM


Since news broke that Warner Bros. has officially halted production on Bachelor in Paradise due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct on set, contestant DeMario Jackson has been thrust into the spotlight — but according to a source close to the reality star, he’s certain his name will be cleared.

“DeMario is in high spirits,” the source tells PEOPLE. “He certainly isn’t the man he’s being portrayed to be. It’s hard for his loved ones to sit and watch most of the slanderous accusations and comments from individuals who don’t know anything about who he is.”

The source adds that “the truth may tell different story than what’s been reported thus far.”

PEOPLE sources previously confirmed production was suspended after a producer raised concerns about an alleged sexual encounter between Jackson and a female cast mate, both of whom had reportedly been drinking heavily all day. (Thus far, no legal action has been taken, and neither cast member has spoken out about what happened.)

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Jackson, 30, was working as an executive recruiter in Los Angeles before being cast on Rachel Lindsay‘s currently airing season of The Bachelorette. Lindsay sent him home week two after discovering he had lied about having a girlfriend back home, and he was subsequently cast on the new season of the popular spin-off Paradise, which was originally scheduled to air this summer.

A second source tells PEOPLE that “people feel really bad” for Jackson. According to the insider, Jackson feels like he was “going along” with the female costar involved in the encounter, “and now it looks like he did something really bad.”

“There’s been a snowball of misinformation,” says the source. “Of course the crew and production team wants everyone to be safe on their set, and that’s why they want everything to be figured out with a proper investigation.”

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Longtime host of the franchise Chris Harrison issued a statement regarding the incident on Tuesday, asking fans to “respect the privacy of the parties involved.”

“Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us,” he said. “It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They’re moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done, a clear, concise decision can be made about where we go from here.”

“There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too,” he added. “We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.”

On Tuesday, Jackson was spotted in public for the first time since the news broke. When asked by photographers about the allegations, Jackson had no comment, though he thanked fans of the show for their support.

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