Bachelor in Paradise's Vinny Ventiera Talks New Season After Scandal: 'There Was Definitely an Elephant in the Room'
Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise kicks off its two-night premiere on Monday, Aug. 14, and Tuesday, Aug. 15, both at 8 p.m. ET on ABC
As the season premiere of Bachelor in Paradise approaches, fans are anxious to find out how the recent controversy affected the cast — and according to Vinny Ventiera, it certainly took some time to adjust after Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson‘s sex scandal.
“I try not to let stuff that’s around me affect my being, but there was definitely a stigma that was lingering for a little bit — being a part of something like that,” Ventiera told PEOPLE at Jill Zarin’s 5th Annual Luxury Luncheon in the Hamptons this past weekend.
“There was definitely an elephant in the room,” he added.
And on Wednesday, he told PEOPLE Now: “We do address it on camera. And it’s good that we took a negative situation … and turned it into a positive thing.”
He added, “We definitely knew what was going on. We address it and wanted move on.”
News of the Paradise scandal broke on June 11, when Warner Bros. announced it had suspended production on the show and launched an internal investigation into “allegations of misconduct.” PEOPLE later confirmed that filming was halted after two producers had voiced their concerns about a sexual encounter between contestants Olympios and Jackson.
In the days that followed, Olympios and Jackson both went on retain legal representation and issued statements, with Olympios, 24, calling herself a “victim” and Jackson, 30, claiming his character had “been assassinated.”
Ventiera told PEOPLE Now he did reach out to Olympios “briefly — I didn’t want to address that because I didn’t want to seem like I was just another Bachelor fan. Just a friend, like, ‘How are you? If you need anything, let me know.’ ”
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“Everything seemed to work out fine,” said Ventiera at the Zarin event. “There’s nothing going on now.”
“I was happy to go back,” he added. “I wanted to go back and do what we were doing before — trying to find love and have fun and enjoy being with friends. This season is good. That’s all I’m going to say!”
Warner Bros. has said in a statement that the company “does not intend to release the videotape of the incident,” but insisted they would be implementing “certain changes to the show’s policies and procedures to enhance and further ensure the safety and security of all participants.”
“They put a limit on drinks — you can only have two per hour,” explained Ventiera this past weekend. “And then if you want to spend the night with someone, you have to give on camera consent. Both parties have to agree.”
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Of course, we couldn’t let Ventiera go without asking for his thoughts on the current season of The Bachelorette, which will conclude on Monday. So who’s his top pick? Well, as it turns out, the guy he’s eyeing is out of the running for Rachel Lindsay‘s heart but will appear in Paradise — it’s Dean Unglert!
“He’s charismatic, handsome and he’s got dimples!” said Ventiera. “Girls love dimples.”
As for Ventiera himself? Well, he’s not just looking for love in Paradise — you can also catch him on the upcoming season premiere of Million Dollar Matchmaker, where he’ll go head-to-head against BiP alum Daniel Maguire trying to woo the same woman.
Million Dollar Matchmaker premieres Friday at 10 p.m. ET on WE tv. The Bachelorette finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise kicks off its two-night premiere on Monday, Aug. 14, and Tuesday, Aug. 15, both at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.