Bachelor alums Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti are coming to the the franchise’s defense after an alleged incident between Bachelor in Paradise contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios led to the show’s suspension.
In the days following the cast’s sudden departure from Mexico, there has been speculation about how much control producers on the show have over contestants’ behavior. Higgins explained that in his time on the ABC reality series, he was never required to do anything out of his comfort zone.
“I was never forced into anything. I was talked through as a friend in situations. If I was confused, they would sit with me and allow me to speak my mind and help me process,” Higgins, 29, said on the Ben & Ashley I. Almost Famous iHeart Radio podcast on Tuesday, June 13. “Yes, there is producing that is done. It’s a show. There are situations that happen that they need to get something out of, but it’s never a forced situation.”
Later, the season 20 Bachelor, who recently split from fiancé Lauren Bushnell, added: “I think as we continue to get more information, it’ll be interesting to see how the franchise handles this, because either way, however this plays out from this point forward, if the worst accusations that are being made are true, or if maybe all of the rumors being spread aren’t true, this will have a ripple effect on the franchise.”
Iaconetti, who has appeared on two seasons of BIP, added that she had never seen anything that “should’ve been stopped that I thought was morally wrong.”
As previously reported, Warner Bros. launched an investigation after a producer on the popular show reportedly claimed misconduct in the workplace when they felt things went too far with Jackson and Olympios in a pool on set.
In a Tuesday, June 13, statement, Chris Harrison, who hosts BIP along with the franchise’s other shows, said that Warner Bros. “was moving quickly to gather all the facts” in the investigation. “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 said. “We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.”
Olympios has yet to comment on the incident, but Jackson shared his brief thoughts while leaving Starbucks in L.A. on Tuesday, June 13. “No comment,” he said in a video obtained by Entertainment Tonight. “I have nothing to say. You know, Corinne’s an awesome girl and that’s all I have to say. Love you all, thank you for the support.”
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