Ben Higgins is the latest Bachelor Nation star to address the controversy surrounding Bachelor in Paradise, People reports.
Higgins, who starred as the season 20 Bachelor, defended the show's producers during his Almost Famous podcast with former Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise contestant Ashley Iaconetti. Though details of the exact incident which halted production on the reality spinoff are unclear, it's been alleged that producers didn't intervene when an intoxicated contestant became involved in a sexual interaction.
Though Higgins has never been a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise, his experience filming The Bachelor made him see the show's producers as a source of support.
"I was never forced into anything," the newly single reality star said during the podcast. "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.
"Yes, there is producing that is done," he added. "It's a show! There are situations that happen that they need to get something out of, but it's never a forced situation."
While he insisted that producers were "just trying to portray a storyline that was existing in front [of them]," he acknowledged that it's possible that a lapse in judgment was made.
Iaconetti added that she never witnessed any "morally wrong" behavior that producers should have stopped.
Yesterday host Chris Harrison and contestant DeMario Jackson, who was allegedly involved in the sexual encounter, both made statements downplaying the controversy, suggesting that footage of the incident would clear up the matter.
"The safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us," Harrison said in a statement. "It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon."
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