Corinne Olympios is ready to move on.
In a exclusive clip from Tuesday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise, the 24-year-old Miami native sits down with Chris Harrison to discuss the sex scandal that caused a halt in production earlier this summer and where she stands with DeMario Jackson.
“It was hard for me to go through something like that, too,” Olympios tells the longtime host. “I know exactly how he feels. The media wants to paint [you] a certain way that you know you’re just not. You know who you are inside, and it’s so hard that these people have become experts on you and your life and think they were there and know exactly what happened. No, you weren’t there! It’s just really hard, and I hope that he’s doing better.”
“I really just want people to know that I don’t blame DeMario,” she adds. “I never pointed fingers at DeMario. I never said a bad word about DeMario. I don’t even know what to call it. It’s so heart-sinking to go through something like that and having to deal with that. Even just going to get eggs from the grocery story, my face was on every magazine and to check out and everyone staring — you’re just looking at them and it’s like, ‘I’m not what you’re thinking right now.’”
Warner Bros. intiated an investigation of the alleged misconduct, all the contestants were sent home, and Olympios and Jackson both retained legal counsel.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production,” Olympios said in a statement to PEOPLE.
After getting plenty of backlash from Bachelor Nation fans and former costars, Olympios is clarifying a few things – especially what she meant by calling herself a “victim.”
“At that point in time, I saw myself as a victim of having something this serious happen to you and have the media paint you a certain way that you know you aren’t and having all these people make their judgments and comments and they don’t even know what happened or went on,” she exclusively tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “That’s what I’m a victim of. I never meant that I was a victim of DeMario. I strongly believe he had no bad intentions at all. It was all good. It was unfortunate that no one really knew how intoxicated I actually was at the time. I believe that nobody knew that. It was nobody’s fault. I was a victim of not really knowing what happened at the time. We were just really trying to get to bottom of everything.”
“I’m really happy that this is finally coming to an end,” she adds.
Last week, Jackson had a similar opportunity and opened up to Harrison about his struggles post-scandal.
“It was difficult because I know who I am,” Jackson said. “I know I’m not that monster that they’re trying to portray on TV. Like Michelle Obama said, ‘When they go low, you go high.’ It was hard to go high. I had to do it because I train and mentor children and I can’t tell them to be something that I’m not. That’s what kept me going – and great family, friends, school teachers, people at the gym … it was just crazy to see the response from them. My castmates – Alexis, Raven, I think I FaceTimed Taylor every single day. There was so much love. I was extremely humbled.”
In the second part of this season’s BiP premiere, Harrison addressed the sexual encounter with the rest of the cast (Olympios and Jackson did not return) and asked, “Do you think race played a part in this?”
With most of the cast agreeing that race definitely played a role, Olympios is taking a stand.
“The fact that that was even a question brought up on BiP is almost insulting to me,” she says. “I’ve never ever looked at anybody any differently than me. I don’t care if they’re purple, yellow – that has nothing to do with anything. I don’t judge people. I’m not racist or prejudice whatsoever. The fact that that was even a question is silly to me.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.