"It feels good...I don't have to answer to nobody. I'm having a great time finally, and it was just such a relief. I feel like I haven't had that in a really long time, the freedom to have fun with friends and also to feel OK about being out with DeMario," she continued. "I can't say I wasn't nervous about it. When I saw the cameras, I was like, 'Oh no,' but it was bound to happen eventually."
While Olympios and Jackson are definitely friendly, the 24-year-old reality star still wishes Jackson would have responded to the media differently when news of the scandal that temporarily halted production on Bachelor in Paradise broke in June. Olympios kept relatively quiet, releasing occasional statements through her rep or lawyer (including her initial statement in which she called herself a "victim"), while Jackson spoke openly with paparazzi and various news outlets in an effort to clear his name.
"I actually told him last night, I was like, 'You ran to the media. I'm so mad at you,' and he was like, 'No I didn't. I only went to the media after your statement came out,'" she recalled, adding that she felt her other castmates "got super carried away" with the scandal. "I did express to him I was upset that we could have handled it privately, but everything happens for a reason, and we're all good now."
At the end of the day, Olympios, who is working on her fashion line, scripted TV projects and a book about "being comfortable in your own skin," is "really glad I handled things the way I did."