A woman has claimed she was subjected to “terrifying” rape and assault by Andrew Tate as she joined a UK civil case against the controversial social media personality.
Paige, who has been given a fake name to protect her identity, recalled her alleged abuser saying, “I own you; you belong to me”, before choking her during sex without consent.
“It was unprompted and he did it so hard that I lost consciousness and I thought I was going to die,” she told i.
“When I regained consciousness, he was continuing to rape me. It was terrifying.”
The woman, now 30, was at university in 2014 when she says she met Mr Tate while on a night out in his home town of Luton.
Mr Tate has said he “vehemently denies” the allegations against him.
Paige has joined three other complainants of sexual and physical assault by Mr Tate – all represented by law firm McCue Jury & Partners – to pursue a civil claim for damages against him over alleged offences between 2013 and 2016 while he was still living in the UK.
The lawyers are crowdfunding to bring the case on behalf of the four claimants, with the ultimate goal of prompting a “criminal investigation in the UK”.
“It’s our one remaining route to hold him accountable and stop anyone else suffering what we have suffered,” said McCue Jury & Partners. The crowdfunding campaign has received donations totalling more than £15,000.
The UK civil case is separate from the criminal investigations Mr Tate and his brother, Tristan, are currently facing in Romania for rape, people trafficking and organised crime. The brothers deny all the allegations against them.
It comes after the BBC aired an interview last week where Mr Tate called one of his alleged victims “imaginary” and dismissed his misogynistic comments as “jokes”.
“I don’t really think when you’re saying something so hateful that it can be taken as a joke, especially when you’ve got such a high following,” said Paige, responding to the comments.
“So many people are listening to every word you’re saying. Even if it was sarcastic, that’s just not very responsible to do,” she added.
She decided to join the claim against Mr Tate after witnessing his rise to fame over the past few years.
Watching him gather millions of followers, including many young boys, has “hurt” after what she went through in 2014 when she was just 20 years old, she told i.
She has muted her social media of his name, but he has become increasingly unavoidable online despite a campaign to de-platform him last year.
“It’s hurt, knowing what he’s kind of done to me. It’s quite hurtful to see so many people follow him,” she said.
Paige joined the claim to promote “education around consent” and to seek “justice” for survivors of sexual assault and rape.
Asked why she decided to join the claim, she said: “I didn’t really feel like I had a choice. Once I knew that there were other people out there who had experienced what I had experienced, and worse, it gave me the strength to say, actually, what happened to me was wrong and there have to be consequences for actions like that.
“Feeling that sense of empowerment is really liberating, and I would encourage other women to speak out too.”
She called on Mr Tate’s supporters to “have some respect” for alleged victims of sexual assault and to “rethink everything you hear that he’s telling you”.
Describing the alleged assault to i, Paige said: “I met Andrew in a nightclub in my hometown of Luton. The first time we met, he was very charming and we spent the night together.
“Then, the next time we saw each other, while we were having sex he began to choke me. It was unprompted and he did it so hard that I lost consciousness and I thought I was going to die. When I regained consciousness, he was continuing to rape me. It was terrifying.
“It was a surprise at first and then I became extremely fearful. I do not think the full weight of what happened dawned on me for a long time, and I am still dealing with the effects now.”
In a statement in response to the claims, a spokesman for Mr Tate told the BBC: “Andrew strongly encourages women who have experienced assault, in any form, to report it to the relevant authorities.
“He is saddened that a few opportunistic women who he has allegedly spent time with nearly a decade ago have decided to try and take advantage of his current situation. We will not be commenting any further on anyone’s alleged intention to pursue legal action unless such action is submitted to the authorities.”