I’m confused and slightly concerned for BIP’s Corinne
She kissed DeMario outside a club in LA
by Una Dabiero
Ok, so does everyone remember Corinne Olympios? She was the girl you loved to hate on that one season of The Bachelor and the center of this year's Bachelor In Paradise's sexual assault scandal.
Earlier this year, it was alleged she engaged in non-consensual sexual contact with co-star DeMario Jackson her in front of show producers. But on Tuesday's episode of BIP, she issued an apology to DeMario, saying "I don’t blame DeMario…I honestly don’t think he did anything wrong."
And according to her Snapchat story Wednesday night, her apology wasn't just for TV. She posted a photo with DeMario at an LA club. Then, the pair kissed and hugged in front of paparazzi outside.
This wouldn't bother me if I didn't read a bit further into her on-screen interview about the scandal. After apologizing to DeMario, she describes the earlier alleged assault by saying "I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault. It’s just a really unfortunate, annoying situation that had to go down."
While I am not making claims on DeMario's perceived innocence or guilt, it does seem concerning to me Corinne once felt "victimized" and now has completely changed her narrative on her experience. Especially now that her new narrative seems to match what The Bachelor franchise would like to broadcast.
Her going further than absolving DeMario of guilt on TV to hang out with him in real life leaves me wondering if she feels real pressure to make it look like whatever happened on screen was fine.
But what's maybe more concerning than Corinne's total 180 is the reaction everyone has seemed to have to her and DeMario hanging out.
Claims Corinne was duping us feed into rape culture by suggesting sexual assault victims make up their experiences. While DeMario has not been found guilty of assault, minimizing people's experiences leads to silence – which can be extremely harmful to women everywhere who want to speak out about their own experiences with assault.
I'm concerned for Corinne. Even if she does not feel victimized upon reflection on her experience, she has to face a world that thinks her narrative has been scripted to get attention. And in her, I see victims of sexual assault everywhere who are told to sit down and be quiet.
If Corinne is a drama queen for claiming an emotion, reflecting on it, and changing her mind, many people who experience trauma are "drama queens." We shouldn't be OK with that.
And if Corinne was under duress in deciding she was OK with what happened, we shouldn't be OK with that either.
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