Corinne Olympios Apologizes to DeMario Jackson over BiP Sex Scandal: 'I'm Sorry You Had to Go Through This'
For the first time, Corinne Olympios is willingly giving her side of the story.
During Tuesday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise, the 24-year-old sat down with Chris Harrison to discuss the sex scandal between her and DeMario Jackson — which caused a halt in production earlier this summer — how the aftermath affected her, and how she’s planning to move on.
“I would love for everyone to have a better understanding of me and my side,” Olympios told Harrison. “I’m doing a lot better. It was hard for me. It was really just a rough time for my family. My mom came out and is staying with me. I’m better.”
In June, production on season 4 was temporarily suspended after two show producers voiced their concerns after a sexual encounter between Olympios and Jackson was caught on camera.
Warner Bros. initiated an investigation of the alleged misconduct, all the contestants were sent home, and Olympios and Jackson both retained legal counsel.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production,” Olympios said in a statement to PEOPLE.
After receiving backlash from Bachelor Nation fans and former costars, Olympios clarified a few things — including what she meant by calling herself a “victim.”
“At that point in time, I saw myself as a victim of having something this serious happen to you and have the media paint you a certain way that you know you aren’t and having all these people make their judgments and comments and they don’t even know what happened or went on,” she exclusively tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “That’s what I’m a victim of. I never meant that I was a victim of DeMario. I strongly believe he had no bad intentions at all. 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. I was a victim of not really knowing what happened at the time. We were just really trying to get to bottom of everything.”
“I’m really happy that this is finally coming to an end,” she adds.
- For more on Olympios and Bachelor in Paradise, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Last week, Jackson had a similar opportunity and opened up to Harrison about his struggles post-scandal.
“It was difficult because I know who I am,” Jackson said. “I know I’m not that monster that they’re trying to portray on TV. Like Michelle Obama said, ‘When they go low, you go high.’ It was hard to go high. I had to do it because I train and mentor children and I can’t tell them to be something that I’m not. That’s what kept me going – and great family, friends, school teachers, people at the gym … it was just crazy to see the response from them. My castmates – Alexis, Raven, I think I FaceTimed Taylor every single day. There was so much love. I was extremely humbled.”
While Olympios continues to move forward, she can’t help but reflect on what she took from this whole experience.
“With something like this, you can’t help but learn a lot about yourself,” she says. “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.”
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.”
Though she has not spoken to Jackson since production had been suspended, she wishes him nothing but the best.
“I would want to tell him, ‘Listen, I respect you as a human,’ ” she told Harrison. ” ‘I have nothing against you. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I know what it feels like. I’m sorry.’ ”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.