YouTuber Jake Paul has released a statement after being accused of sexual assault by a fellow social media creator.
Justine Paradise, a TikTok user with more than 500,000 followers on the platform, shared the allegations in a recent YouTube video. She alleges that Paul assaulted her in July 2019 at the Team 10 house, his former mansion in Calabasas, California, which Paul later decided to sell.
Paul denied the allegations in a statement on Tuesday, writing: “Sexual assault accusations aren’t something that I, or anyone should ever take lightly, but to be crystal clear, this claim made against me is 100% false.”
Paul stated he has “never had any sexual relationship with this individual”, and alleged that the claims were “manufactured”.
The Independent has contacted Paul’s team for comment. In the post, Paul also echoed remarks made by his attorney Daniel E Gardenswartz, who told TMZ in a previous statement: “Our client categorically denies the allegation and has every intention of aggressively disproving it and pursuing legal action against those responsible for the defamation of his character.”
In her video, Paradise alleges she first met Paul through a mutual friend, and that she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before entering the residence for the first time.
“That is why I thought I wasn’t allowed to talk about this,” she said, referring to the NDA. “... I thought if you signed an NDA you signed away your rights to talk about anything, basically.”
Paradise says she and Paul exchanged texts between June and July of 2019, and saw each other several more times at gatherings.
“One of these days, I was in the studio, some people were recording down there, and Jake pulled me into this little corner area in the studio and started kissing me,” Paradise said. “I was fine with that. I did think he was cute. I did want to kiss him. That is fine. That wasn’t the issue, that he kissed me.”
Paradise alleges that Paul eventually brought her to his room, where they danced and kissed, until he “took it to his bed”.
“Sex is very special and very important to me,” she said. “But I haven’t had sex with that many people. ... Normally, everybody respects me when I don’t want to do sexual things, so I thought that it was fine if I went in his room, and I thought it would be fine to kiss him, because I thought he would stop if I didn’t want to do anything else. That’s normal. That’s what you do.”
Paradise said the two kissed “for a bit”, and “every time he would try to put my hand places, or try to put his hands places that I didn’t want, I would just kind of move it away and be like, ‘No,’” she added.
Paradise alleges that Paul at one point said: “If nothing is going to happen, then what’s the point?”
Paul, she alleges, got up and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“I was still lying down, he was on top of me, and like, holding my head into him,” Paradise added. “I couldn’t even tell him not to. He didn’t ask for consent or anything.”
Paradise claims she tried to contact Paul afterward in order to discuss the alleged assault, to no avail.
“I never got an apology or anything like that,” she said. “I would have liked to have an apology, because that was messed-up, and I didn’t want that.”
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support: www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
In the US, you can call RAINN at 800 656 4673, or chat online with a trained staff member.