Happy Monday, Bachelor Nation. After two months of mounting anticipation, the Bachelor in Paradise season 4 premiere is officially upon us.
For the uninitiated, the beloved Bachelor/ette spin-off has placed alums in an elaborate game of romantic musical chairs in Mexico every summer since 2014. This season, however, things took a sharp turn just days into filming after a sex scandal between two cast members rocked the franchise. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know ahead of this week’s two-night premiere.
Corinne Olympios and DeMario JacksonGetty (2)
The sex scandal: A brief timeline
June 4: A sexual encounter occurred between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, both of whom had been drinking heavily all day. PEOPLE has since confirmed that two producers voiced their concerns about the encounter.
June 11: News of the Paradise scandal broke when Warner Bros. announced it had suspended production on the show and launched an internal investigation into “allegations of misconduct.”
June 14: Olympios and Jackson both retained legal representation and issued statements, with Olympios, 24, calling herself a “victim” and admitting she had “little memory of that night,” and Jackson, 30, claiming his character had “been assassinated.”
June 20: Warner Bros. announced their investigation found no evidence of misconduct and confirmed that production would be resuming.
The Bachelor in Paradise original season 4 castPaul Hebert/ABC
What exactly happened, in their own words?
After Warner Bros. deemed nothing improper had occurred, Olympios’ attorney Martin Singer told PEOPLE that their own investigation into the incident would continue. A few days later, Olympios issued a statement confirming her team’s investigation had “been completed to my satisfaction.”
“While I never filed complaints or accusations against anyone associated with Bachelor in Paradise, my team and I felt it was very important to be thorough in getting to the bottom of what had occurred,” she said. “I felt victimized by the fact that others were judging me through conflicting and unsubstantiated reports, while I myself had no recollection of the events that transpired.”
“While I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been a participant on The Bachelor, and while I was invited to return to Bachelor in Paradise when production resumed, I respectfully made the decision not to return,” she continued. “I understand the media’s interest in this story, and I greatly appreciate my fans’ concerns for my well-being, but I think it is best if I keep any further thoughts private for now.”
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Olympios has not publicly addressed the incident since. Jackson, meanwhile, detailed his recollection of the encounter in a lengthy interview with E! News, calling it “the wildest night of my entire life” and including several graphic details. (Olympios did not issue a response to any of his claims.)
According to Jackson, after meeting on set, he and Olympios began “complimenting each other on being villains” and joking about how they were “going to dominate Paradise.”
“We started having a little bit more fun, started having a few drinks,” he said. “It got a little bit hot and heavy. She jumped in my arms, we started making out at the bar.”
Jackson went on to explain that he and Olympios were in the pool “kissing,” “rubbing” and “touching.” Eventually, “things got wild because it was more of, like, her being the aggressor, which was sexy because you have a very attractive girl who’s telling you what she wants.”
Jackson said he proceeded to sit on the edge of the pool, and Olympios got up and put “her lady parts like, right on my face.”
“We were already naked at that point,” he said. “We had been naked since like, the second we got into the pool.”
According to Jackson, the following day, nothing appeared to be different between him and Olympios — when he saw her, they hugged and spoke before the group all got breakfast together.
“We were all talking about how wild the previous day was,” he said. “She wasn’t mad. We were hanging out. I offered her a shot, but she said that the production had cut her off for drinking for the day.”
The cast continued filming for the next two days, but Jackson says that on Tuesday night (June 6), producers pulled him aside and told him there was an issue and advised him to “bow out.”
“The minute you release this black man’s face and this white girl’s face, before either of us commented on it, I was already a ‘rapist’ and a ‘monkey,’ ” he said. “And she’s a ‘whore’ and a ‘slut.’ For me, it goes back to the human race — we failed.”
RELATED VIDEO: DeMario Jackson Tearfully Reveals Bachelor in Paradise Accusations Made His Mother ‘Cry Every Single Day’
How did the incident change the show?
In the wake of the scandal, Warner Bros. announced that they would be implementing “certain changes to the show’s policies and procedures to enhance and further ensure the safety and security of all participants.”
A source close to production also told PEOPLE that precautions were taken to ensure a similar incident wouldn’t occur. According to the source, “in broad strokes, changes were made to ensure everyone’s safety” — particularly in regard to alcohol consumption and consent.
In recent interviews, several of this season’s stars have confirmed the particulars of the new rules.
“They put a limit on drinks — you can only have two per hour,” Vinny Ventiera told PEOPLE earlier this month. “And then if you want to spend the night with someone, you have to give on camera consent. Both parties have to agree.”
The rebooted season: What can we expect?
Warner Bros. has said in a statement that the company “does not intend to release the videotape” of the specific sexual encounter between Olympios and Jackson, but it’s clear from the season supertease that the premiere will address all of the events leading up to the incident, as well as the aftermath.
“There was definitely an elephant in the room,” Ventiera recently told PEOPLE. “We do address it on camera. We took a negative situation and turned it into a positive thing.”
Longtime host of the franchise Chris Harrison has also opened up to PEOPLE about the rebooted season, noting that while it would certainly be different than seasons past, it was still the same show at its core.
“I know people want us to say there have been massive changes, but you’re not going to see sweeping changes,” he said. “We’ve learned from this. There will be some adjustments, but again, our cast has always been most important. Alcohol … that’s such a misconception that they rely on it. Drunk and stupid doesn’t help us. It doesn’t make good TV. Stories do — people being compelling.”
“There will be some adjustments made and we’re going to be very verbal about it,” he added. “But as you see the season go on, you’re going to see we’re right back to Paradise.”
Corinne & DeMario: The reunion
Both Olympios and Jackson will partake in a televised reunion special, which Harrison has confirmed will air earlier in the season because “it’s something that needs to be dealt with long before the finale.”
“When I talk to Corinne and DeMario, that’s not just going to be part of a sit-down like the Women or Men Tell All special where there’s 30 people on set,” he told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month. “I think people are misunderstanding how that’s going to go. Those are going to be a lot more in-depth and a lot more intimate and a lot more personal and one-on-one than your ‘Tell All special.’ ”
How will it all wrap up?
For the first time in Bachelor in Paradise history, this season will conclude with a live finale with a studio audience to catch up with the cast.
“One of the things that will be a little different is our time in Paradise was cut down and compacted, therefore the show will extend back into the real world,” Harrison recently told EW.
According to Harrison, the live finale is “going to be a lot of finding out what’s been happening because things have been continuing back in the real world since the show wrapped up in Mexico.”
“It’s going to be interesting,” he said. “And I think a lot more fun for all of us.”
Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise premieres Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.