Sam Cochrane alleges verbal and physical abuse during relationship with Tara Pavlovic
CW: This post discusses allegations of domestic violence.
For many, Sam Cochrane and Tara Pavlovic were the couple who kept things rolling on Bachelor in Paradise.
The duo were 'in it for love', fun, engaging, not to mention sidesplittingly funny.
Their split came as a shock, especially after Tara claimed it was "toxic", but news this morning detailing shocking verbal and physical abuse, reveals just how little we knew about the reality TV couple.
Sam, 31, told Woman's Day:
"The first time it happened, one of her friends was visiting and I'd booked a restaurant for the four of us, but she got blackout drunk, abused me and passed out."
"It was very common for her to go out partying for long periods of time."
"She'd call me a loser in front of friends, telling me I'm not starting my life," says Sam telling the publication had no choice in this matter as they were in hiding until the Paradise finale aired.
According to Sam, the abuse escalated as Tara's partying and drinking continued:
"At weekends it was this binging thing and then it would be the put-downs and the verbal attacks," he explained.
"But the next day the Tara I really liked was back and she didn't remember what she'd said, so we'd recover."
"I begged her to stop drinking and get counselling. You think it's going to get better and I kept telling myself we were under a lot of pressure."
"She told me if I did that the relationship would be over. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell my friends and family because everyone was so excited we were engaged and there was the added pressure that the show hadn't aired."
According to the Woman's Day report the couple's problems, particularly the physical abuse, spiralled after the finale aired.
"As soon as the show wrapped everything spiralled. The relationship took a back seat, the drinking kicked in and then the violence started," Sam explained.
Sam claims it was the weekend of their engagement party - at fellow Bachelorette contestant Stu Laundy's Watson's Bay pub - that Tara first hit Sam.
Sam told Woman's Day - with text messages and images of bruises - how he left the pub as Tara was "completely drunk" before leaving around 4am to help a friend experiencing an emergency.
"As soon as I walked in she punched me square in the face, twice," he explained.
"I managed to calm her down and we went to sleep but a pattern developed."
Sam went on to tell the publication how the pair split after a fight in the back of an Uber in Sydney:
"She bit my hand, my face and my back... I didn't actually realise how bad it was until I saw myself in the bathroom mirror."
"She did show remorse in the morning when she saw me and said she'd never do it again."
"I never wanted to tell this story but ultimately I wish she would get some help," Sam continued.
"She doesn't think she needs it but she's in an environment that condones it. She would say I don't hit my friends, I don't bite my friends, trying to imply that I'm the reason things got so bad, but I'm not."
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, help is available at 1800Respect.
If you are experiencing an emergent situation, call 000.