After failing to get Rachel Lindsay‘s final rose on The Bachelorette, Iggy Rodriguez is back to show fans another side of his personality on Bachelor in Paradise. He gained the reputation of a “tattle” during his short-lived time on the reality dating competition, but he believes time will show his true colors, just as it did for his co-star DeMario Jackson, who was at the center of the sexual misconduct scandal.
“I think DeMario is not a bad guy whatsoever. He certainly has that portrayal, that he made that mistake with the one girl and he did, he f–ked up and he’s an idiot and we all call him out for it. But in my experience with DeMario, he’s not the kind of guy who should be labeled a predator or someone who engages in forced sexual misconduct. Not even close,” Iggy told Life & Style exclusively of his co-star. “I was really happy that DeMario, in some capacity, was able to be exonerated of some of the labels that had been thrust on him in the public.”
Iggy had his own personal scandal thanks to the The Bachelorette, albeit less publicized, when the 30-year-old consulting firm CEO was allegedly caught direct messaging a girl while filming.
In a series of tweets shared on Reddit, an unknown woman named Sarah called out Iggy and accused him of borrowing a cell phone to get in touch with her as he competed for Rachel’s final rose.
“Remember when that guy ghosted me and then messaged me on Instagram saying he was filming a show and couldn’t have his phone…,” Sarah tweeted alongside Iggy’s cast photo. “He borrowed the room service lady’s phone to message me on Instagram and tell me. He’s only 5’5″ and does steroids. Don’t judge me.”
Iggy goes on to send Sarah more NSFW messages, which are dated April 13 — less than one month after Rachel started filming her season.
“F–k tonight?” Iggy asked in the screenshotted conversation. “I want to f–k you so hard. Get over here!”
However, Iggy denies those claims, and while he does admit to sending the embarrassing messages, it was several weeks after filming had wrapped for him. “We only met in person one time, there was never any sort of sexual interaction, and that was the end of our relationship,” he said. “I don’t want to speak on her behalf. All I want to do is set the record straight that it’s a physical impossibility to do that stuff when you’re on set and there wasn’t ever any actual relationship.”
As for what fans can expect from BiP when it returns, Iggy makes it clear that while the scandal is addressed, the contestants do not dwell on it for too long. “The team did a really good job of acknowledging the issue and allowing us to speak to its effect on us and our honest reaction to it,” he added. “It wasn’t dismissive, but we also didn’t harp on it.”
Be sure to tune into Bachelor in Paradise when it premieres on Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.