The YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul has denied sexually assaulting fellow social media personality Justine Paradise, days before he is due to headline a star-studded fight night.
Paul is set to take on UFC fighter Ben Askren in a boxing ring on Saturday in the 79,000-seater Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg are performing as part of a star-studded line-up.
TikTok star Paradise posted a video on Friday accusing Paul of an alleged assault at his house in 2019.
“We were dancing in his room, like ballroom dancing, and then we were like, kissing and stuff, and then he took it to his bed,” Paradise said in the 20-minute video on her YouTube channel.
“Sex is very special and very important to me … 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. I thought it would be fine to kiss him, because I thought he would stop if I didn’t want to do anything else.”
She added: “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 move it away and be like, ‘no’, and just (go) back to kissing. Then at one point, he said, ‘if nothing is going to happen, then what’s the point’.”
Paradise alleged that Paul “grabbed my face” in order to initiate oral sex. “I couldn’t even tell him not to, he didn’t ask for consent or anything. He knew I didn’t want to do anything with him because he said, ‘if nothing’s going to happen then what’s the point’.”
The 24-year-old American rose to fame on the social media platform Vine and YouTube. He turned to boxing in 2018, beating fellow YouTuber KSI in a fight watched by millions around the world.
Paul, 24, said he plans to take legal action against Paradise on grounds of defamation.
“There are irreparable damages from these types of accusations, and more importantly, false allegations of this nature diminish those who have truly been victims of misconduct,” he said. “I respect women and mothers more than anything.”
He added: “I most certainly have never laid a finger on a girl without their consent.”
Paul, who has more than 20 million YouTube subscribers, said he will “fight this to the end”.
“As someone who has lived in the spotlight since the age of 16, dealing with liars, fake news, and false accusations unfortunately is a part of this job,” he said. “I won’t back down from it and years from now my character as individual will show and shine through these dark moments.”
Paul’s recent spat on social media with the 36-year-old UFC fighter Askren developed into a scheduled fight. Askren is infamous for being on the wrong end of the fastest knockout in UFC history when a flying knee by Jorge Masvidal ended their bout in five seconds.
Paul said in the fractious build-up to this fight: “I started boxing two years ago and I’m still going to knock his ass out faster than Masvidal. These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box.
“The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a ‘real fighter.’ After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say?”
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