What started as a seemingly humorous situation on Bachelor in Paradise has devolved into something far more serious.
On Sunday night, word spread around the Internet that producers had halted production on Season 4 of this ABC series, with a network spokesperson referencing "allegations of misconduct" between cast members.
Not much was known at the time of this original report.
But an insider then told TMZ that the cast members in question were Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, probably the two most notorious former Bachelor and Bachelorette stars to sign on for this spinoff.
Olympios was eliminated by Nick Viall after taking off her top on many occasions and making endless sexual advances in an attempt to win Viall over.
Jackson, meanwhile, was just sent packing by Rachel Lindsay a couple weeks ago after she learned he still had a girlfriend.
According to this insider, producers told Olympios and Jackson to hook up because they believe it would be good for ratings.
Okay, sure, the reality show villains allegedly said, proceeding to go off and get very drunk together.
Soon enough, Olympios and Jackson were reportedly making out (hard!) prior to making their way over to a pool.
At this point, clothes came off and a source close to DeMario says there was "rubbing, touching and fingering," most of which was initiated by Corinne.
She even thrust her crotch in Jackson's face, at which point he started to lick.
Again, this is all according to a third party, anonymous source who spoke to TMZ.
At some point, the physical action came to a halt, largely because Jackson was unable to perform sexually due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.
And this is where the controversy kicked in.
A producer who had been assigned to remain by Corinne's side reported what she saw to executives.
She said it appeared as if Olympios was too drunk to control herself and questioned whether some kind of sexual assault took place in the pool.
In response, the network shut down production and sent the entire cast home.
Everyone except for Corinne and DeMario were spotted late last week at the Houston airport.
An investigation is underway to determine just what transpired and who is responsible, although various outlets insist that Olympios is NOT directing blame at DeMario.
He was also wasted during the hook-up.
The stars have supposedly been in touch since this incident went down and are on solid terms.
But Corinne has lawyered up, believes producers should have stepped in when it was clear she did not give consent and is considering a lawsuit of some kind.
As for the future of Bachelor in Paradise?
Noted franchise expert and Bachelorette spoilers guru Reality Steve says with 100% certainty that this season will not air.
(It had been scheduled to premiere on August 8.)
Speaking to People Magazine on the condition of anonymity, one Season 4 cast member said the following on Monday afternoon:
“We were told to stay in a certain part of the [resort] while they figured out what the hell had happened.
"We knew something bad had happened; there was a dark energy that came around the house.
"You have to understand that we weren’t even there a week. The game hadn’t even really begun yet.”
This same contestant went on to explain how no one really knew what was happening for two days after the drunken hook-up took place:
“They stopped taping anything, and we were just kind of there, waiting in limbo.
"We couldn’t talk to each other about what we knew. On Thursday, one of the camera guys told me that they were probably going to shut down production. I didn’t realize that it was that serious until then.
"I was like, ‘wait, they’re thinking of canceling the show?’ It hadn’t even crossed my mind that they’d do that."
The contestants are paid a stipend to appear on Bachelor in Paradise; it's contingent on how many episodes they last, meaning this abrupt cancelation will cost each person a decent chunk of change.
That's unimportant in the big picture if any kind of assault or non-consensual act did take place, but it's just another tidbit to consider.
"We’re pissed that this whole thing happened,” says the contestant. “They could have stopped this before it got this far.”
And that's at the heart of the issue here.
What did producers see? What did they do? What did they not do? What responsibility do they have to make their presence felt during filming?
At least one witness tells Entertainment Tonight that Corinne and DeMario didn't do anything that doesn't happen all the time on this series.
They didn't do anything that isn't basically encouraged on the series.
"In the moment, they were both drinking," this source says. "He's a much bigger guy, but they were drinking all day. ... They were all drunk.
"It's the nature of the show."
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