Sam Cochrane has told Woman’s Day exclusively that the reason for the demise of his relationship with Bachelor In Paradise co-star Tara Pavlovic was due to her excessive drinking and the physical and verbal abuse.
The interview comes after Tara spoke publicly to Daily Mail about their ‘toxic’ relationship, in which she said Sam would “[leave] me after a fight thinking I would beg for him back – he always threatened to leave and played games.”
However according to Sam, the catalyst was Tara’s binge drinking and subsequent abuse.
“At weekends it was this binging thing and then it would be the put-downs and the verbal attacks,” he told Woman’s Day. “But the next day the Tara I really liked was back and she didn’t remember what she’d said, so we’d recover.”
According to Sam this was occurring before the show had even aired, making it all the more difficult to address.
“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.”
He said as soon as the show was over, it got worse – with Tara first hitting him at their engagement party.
“As soon as the show wrapped everything spiralled. The relationship took a back seat, the drinking kicked in and then the violence started.”
He said he got back to their hotel room at 4am after helping a friend, and Tara became violent.
“As soon as I walked in she punched me square in the face, twice. I managed to calm her down and we went to sleep but a pattern developed.”
But it was an argument after an event in Sydney that led to their relationship’s end.
“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.”
The couple tried to patch things up, but three weeks later made the Instagram announcement that their relationship was over. Tara has since moved on with plumber Nick Shepherdson. Tara has also maybe addressed Sam’s comments via a cryptic Instagram post:
Sam says he spoke about the abuse because he wants Tara to get help.
“I never wanted to tell this story but ultimately I wish she would get some help. 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.”
You can read the full story in the current issue of Woman’s Day.
If you are being abused, or know someone who is, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.