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It was curtains for DeMario and Corinne (and their reputations) after alleged “sexual misconduct” that was later found unsubstantiated.
After watching the first two episodes of Bachelor in Paradise (an astounding FOUR HOURS worth of television over two nights), I can honestly say I have even less clarity about the Corinne/DeMario situation than I had before the show started.
And I’m annoyed.
Media reports at the time intimated that some type of sexual misconduct had occurred and the blame was placed on DeMario.
“I am a victim,” said Corinne in a statement shortly after the news broke.
What viewers saw, however, was a clearly wasted Corinne acting sloppy and being the initiator in her hookup with DeMario.
DeMario gave a full interview about the night in question and has a clear recollection– he says oral sex happened for 10-20 seconds, tops, in full view of everyone while they were in the pool.
Corinne says she remembers nothing of the night. (Although she does now remember that she has a boyfriend. And had one when she went to Paradise, despite telling Chris Harrison upon arrival that she did not.)
This begs the tricky question…can there be consent for a hookup if both people are drunk? What if one person is drunk?
At what point should a person be held accountable for how much alcohol he or she chooses to drink and what occurs as a result?
How was DeMario supposed to know that Corinne was supposedly blacked out at the time?
In case you have never blacked out, you can be walking around or talking or even having sex with someone and just plain not remember it the next day. The people you are with during a blackout might not even realize just how wasted you are.
I’m going to suggest that perhaps NO ONE is to blame here.
This is a show about “finding love,” a.k.a. hooking up. That’s what Corinne and DeMario were there to do.
If the producer who eventually complained about this supposed misconduct really had an issue with what was going down, why didn’t she interrupt during the act?
You expect me to believe that what happened was so horribly wrong yet it was allowed to take place and be filmed without it being stopped? Only two days later a complaint was filed?
It was interesting, too, that Corinne seemed to have zero problems with DeMario following the alleged misconduct. She is shown being friendly to him and acting happy as a clam to be in Paradise.
Ultimately, Warner Bros. released findings “that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member. Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy.”
DeMario was forced to leave the show, as was Corinne, and never given the opportunity to explain his side or finish out his stint in Paradise.
We have a show that got a firestorm of publicity at the cost of a black man’s reputation.
What’s sad is that DeMario knew that something like this could happen.
He said in the interview with E!, “It’s crazy because when you’re a man, mostly African-American men, no matter where you are, you look for things that will help you out. At that moment, I made sure the cameras followed us. My spidey senses went off. It was two cameras, the audio guy and a producer.”
We will never know whether DeMario’s race played a part in why a producer complained about the incident.
But it sure seems like the show owes DeMario and Corinne an apology, both for sullying their reputations and using them as pawns in this “storyline.”
Images courtesy of ABC.