Did Jake Paul Sexually Assault Justine Paradise? Why Reactions To Her Story Are So Divided

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock / Instagram
Jake Paul / Justine Paradise

Late last week, TikTok star Justine Paradise posted a YouTube video accusing controversial influencer Jake Paul of sexually assaulting her at his mansion two summers ago.

Paradise claims Paul kissed her and danced with her consensually at first, before abruptly and violently forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

In the 20-minute-long video, titled “TRIGGER WARNING: Jake Paul Sexually Assaulted Me,” Paradise explains that she had met the internet personality through a mutual friend who had invited her to the Team 10 house.

Jake Paul has since denied the assault, and his fans are coming for Paradise, some even claiming oral rape isn't possible (fact: oral rape is absolutely is possible).

Why do some people think Justine Paradise is lying about being sexually assaulted by Jake Paul?

According to Justine's story, upon arrival at the Team 10 house, Paradise was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which was part of the reason she had been afraid to come forward about her experience. She says she also felt frightened, “embarrassed,” and “guilty” about potentially ruining Paul’s career.

However, after posting on TikTok about the legality of disclosing sexual assault after signing an NDA, Paradise learned that she was allowed to speak out if what happened was a crime — and speak out she did.

Because of the delay in her coming forward (which is common for survivors of sexual assault), the misunderstanding of what does and does not "count" as sexual assault (which is also common), and the fact that Paradise admitted to wanting to spend time with him again after the alleged incident (again, something that is common), there are people who doubt her claims.

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What did Justine Paradise accuse Jake Paul of doing?

Paradise reveals in her video that after she met Paul, the two exchanged numbers and began texting. He often asked her to hang out, and she says she visited the Team 10 house about six times before the incident occurred.

The 24-year-old recalls that Paul seemed socially awkward and texted her more often than speaking to her, even when they were in the same room.

Throughout her account, Paradise displayed screenshots of these communications with Paul. She also adds further proof, including photos and videos of herself at Paul’s house.

In her time at the Team 10 house, Paradise noticed that Paul seemed to bring a lot of women to his bedroom, and often.

She claims that the YouTuber “would go to his room with a different girl, multiple different girls, every day,” and suggests that this might explain some of his awkwardness and his entitled attitude towards sex.

Paradise says the alleged assault took place around 3 a.m. on July 20, 2019.

She explains that she was hanging out in the studio when he pulled her aside and began kissing her.

“I was fine with that,” the young woman clarifies, adding that she did feel “weird” and “awkward” that the exchange took place in front of several other people.

After a few minutes, Paul grabbed Paradise’s hand and led her away, and she followed him to his room — again, she says, willingly.

It was a little while later that things took a turn for the worse.

Once in Paul’s room, the pair made small talk for a few minutes. Paradise says Paul told her that he was excited that she wanted to get to know him and that no one else really cared, which she now suspects might be ”just a card he plays.”

They danced and then kissed some more — before Paul moved them over to his bed.

“Sex is very special and very important to me,” Paradise shares in the video, expressing that she did not want to have a meaningless encounter with Paul.

She says she felt safe going to his room and kissing him because “normally, everybody respects me when I don’t want to do sexual things… I thought he would stop if I didn’t want to do anything.”

When she resisted going any further with the famous YouTuber, Paradise says, Paul snapped at her.

"If nothing is going to happen," he allegedly said to her, "then what’s the point?"

The statement shocked her, and once again made her uncomfortable.

Paul then rose and unzipped his pants before grabbing Paradise's face and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

There was nothing she could do to stop him, she explains.

“I was still laying down, he was on top of me, and holding my head into him,” Paradise recounts. “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... and then he just shoves himself in me. That’s not okay.”

The entire harrowing experience ending in “less than 30 seconds.”

Following the assault, Paradise says, Paul turned cold and rudely pressured her to leave the room without even allowing her time to fix her hair or makeup.

Her friends found her crying in the mansion shortly afterward and Paradise told them what had happened.

She backs up this story in her video by showing a Snapchat selfie from that night, geotagged in Calabasas, in which her face is “puffy from crying.”

Paradise says she did hang out at his house again after the alleged assault.

She tells viewers that she sent the influencer text messages asking to hang out because she “wanted to talk to him about what happened,” but he ignored them.

One of her friends had promised to confront Paul about the assault, but Paradise says she never received an apology or even an acknowledgment from the YouTuber. She doesn't even know if their mutual friend had a conversation with Jake at all.

“I’ve thought about this literally every single day since it happened,” Paradise says.

At first, she made excuses for him, but she says she eventually realized that Paul must have known what he did was wrong and simply not cared.

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Since Paradise's video was posted, many have accused her of lying.

As of today, her video has nearly 7,000 dislikes, and numerous Jake Paulers and other skeptics have left scathing comments on her social media accounts.

“Stop the cap,” several users commented on her most recent Instagram post. Others called her a liar and a “clout chaser.”

“I think you just tryna promote your OnlyFans,” one angry commenter wrote.

Paul himself denied the allegations in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, calling Paradise's claim a “manufactured accusation and a blatant attempt for attention.”

He also stated that he plans to pursue legal action.

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Paradise states in her video that she knows she will be dismissed and denounced as a liar, but that she has two very important reasons for exposing the experience.

The first is that she hopes that if Paul is called out publicly he might realize that what he did was harmful, or at least feel compelled by public criticism to change his behavior.

“If Jake ends up seeing this, honestly, I don’t think it was anything significant to him,” Paradise says. “I don’t even know if he would remember me.” She includes photos of herself around the time of the assault, with long hair dyed in vibrant hues, in an attempt to get Paul to recognize her and recall the events.

The second reason is that Paradise also hopes sharing her story will help protect potential future victims from Paul.

Fellow TikTok user Railey Lollie came forward in the comments of Paradise's video with her own claim that Paul had done something "similar" to her in 2017, when she was still a minor. She claims to also have signed an NDA.

Paradise thinks Paul's behavior with her might be part of a larger pattern, and that more women might therefore be at risk.

“I’m saying this for the girls that will be in my place,” she says in her video, “the girls who are just going to hang out with their friends but they end up meeting him, for the girls who maybe want to hang out with him: now you know. Or even if you don’t believe me, at least it will be in the back of your mind when you’re with him.”

“That’s what I’m doing this for,” she explains.

Another TikTok user claims that he doesn't know how oral rape can even happen, pantomiming with his hands what he believes one could do to easily stop an oral rape.

Of course, we know that any sexual contact without consent is sexual assault, even if a victim is in someone's bed, kissing them, or anything else.

In addition to the physical strength a bigger, stronger perpetrator may have over their victim, as well as the manner in which someone with Paul's wealth, fame and stature can easily intimidate someone into compliance, many people will react based on their "fight, freeze, or flight" instinct, which is generally out of a person's control.

Freezing up in a moment of fear or trauma is common, and is nothing to be ashamed of or being blamed for.

And when a victim freezes as part of their trauma response, non-consensual sexual activity can still be considered assault.

There are many who have also are championing Paradise as well.

For those many dislikes, the video currently has 30,000 likes, and positive comments cheering Paradise on have been flooding in.

"You are so brave for speaking out on your experience," one person wrote in the comments. "I cried watching. I am so incredibly sorry you had to go through that. it made me sad that you had to explain why you reached out again after the incident but I understand people are going to question you. It's very common to reach out and it's natural to seek answers. I've reached out to my abusers in the past. Sometimes you want to see the good in people and you want to believe that they didn't mean to harm you."

"I am heartbroken for your awful experience," wrote another. "For each single naysayer there are 100 survivors who are cheering u on for your courage. It's a sad truth that not everyone can tell their story publically, so when I see someone coming forward and telling theirs, I feel more closure with my own assault experiences. Much love and respect, I hope you heal and your journey continues peacefully. There are many people rooting for u."

"For the people saying she’s lying because she froze during the sexual assault. Look up the fight, flight or freeze response," shared another. "A lot of women have a freeze response during sexual assault. She froze because she felt in danger. If it’s true or not it’s NOT anybody’s job to accuse of somebody of lying when they DONT know. It takes a whole lot of courage to stand up to sexual abuse. May god bless your soul Justine, I believe in you."

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, assault and/or abuse, you are not alone. Visit RAINN.org for resources or call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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Allie McGlone is a writer who covers a variety of topics for YourTango, including pop culture and entertainment.