A novelist raped on a Tinder date says writing a book about a Me Too serial killer hunting sexual predators helped her recovery.

In a mire of depression and unable to pursue legal justice, Zoe Rosi created an empowered fashion editor who moonlights as a vigilante murdering rapists, paedophiles and abusers.

Writing the novel Pretty Evil, for which TV rights are now optioned, was a therapeutic outlet to the date rape she says she suffered in 2018.

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Zoe  who grew up in Oxford and attended Cutteslowe Primary School and Cherwell School, said the perpetrator seemed "a cut above your average guy", before he spiked and raped her.

During the date in London, where Zoe now lives, she left her drink with him as she went to the bathroom, after just two glasses of wine she blacked out.

The next morning she woke up naked, feeling as if she had had sex but knowing she could not have consented.

By the time she came to terms with the horrific events she said it was too late to take legal action because she had washed off the DNA.

But around three months after the event that left her feeling violated, depressed and destroyed her self-esteem, Zoe began to write.

In Pretty Evil, due to be published January 17, her sassy protagonist Camilla Black sets up a date with Julian Taylor, not the alleged rapist's name in real life.

The fashion editor had tracked Taylor down on Tinder after learning a judge let him off for beating up his girlfriend.

During the evening he tries to spike her drink, but Camilla realises and spikes his drink in return.

The date closes with Camilla firing a crossbow at Taylor who is bound to a post on the rooftop of a derelict council estate "like a Saint Sebastian-type scene."

While writing Zoe described feeling "almost possessed" because she was so in the zone.

To prevent it becoming a "popcorn thriller" she would at times call ex-senior police detective Stuart Gibbon to help check Camilla could legitimately get away with the murders.

To add to the research, Zoe ordered a large stack of vintage and out-of-print true crime magazines, detailing how villains were brought to justice.

Before Pretty Evil she had written four romance novels, published with HarperCollins, but said she had never written anything like this book.


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She continued: "I felt almost possessed when I wrote it, it was like Camilla just took over me, I was so in the zone - I've never written like that before and haven't written like it since.

"I wrote the first 40,000 words in two or three weeks.

"I know writing stuff like that sounds a bit crazy, but writing it really did help.

"I think I'm very lucky because I write and I'm creative, when something difficult happens to me I use it as material, and I really feel for people who don't have that outlet.

"It's very easy to internalise a lot of pain and shame about rape and sexual assault, for a while I didn't feel like myself at all."

Zoe matched with the man who raped her on Tinder.

Over text he told her he'd read her books, and seemed "humble and normal" apart from some gym selfies that made him "look a bit vain."

They met in a pub in Woolwich, southeast London.

After just one glass of wine Zoe nipped to the bathroom, leaving her drink with him on the table while he bought another round.

During the second drink she began to feel "really, really drunk and out of it."

It was out of character, as someone who can normally drink a few glasses without feeling that drunk.

As things began to get increasingly blurry for Zoe, the perpetrator asked her if she wanted to get fresh air.

Her memory blanked - next thing she knew she was in a taxi and he was offering the taxi driver cash.

Fleetingly she thought this was bizarre because people rarely carry cash, and potentially indicated the events were premeditated.

Zoe said he was acting as if he was taking care of her because she was drunk.

The last thing she remembers is them being in her bedroom before she woke up the next day with him in her bed, them both naked, and feeling as if they'd had sex.

She said: "I knew we'd had sex, we were both naked, and I just remember thinking what the hell happened?

"I felt this horrible dark feeling inside, like something was really wrong.

"But I didn't really know if it was wrong, I was thinking maybe I just got too drunk, and maybe it's my fault.

"I knew I was too drunk to have consented to that, or too out of it to have consented.

"And so that's why I was feeling quite guilty and bad about it. I knew something was wrong, seriously wrong, but I didn't want to admit it.

"I didn't want to think I got raped, because that is really traumatic.

"He was acting like we just had a one night stand, he was just a bit sheepish and got up and left quickly.

"I was lying there with this horrible, foreboding feeling that I knew what happened was wrong.

"I texted an older male friend from work about what happened, who's from a different generation, and he replied saying you haven't done anything thousands of other women do on a Saturday night.

"So I thought to myself, 'maybe it's normal' but looking back that was such a misogynistic thing to say.

"I thought I could put it out of my mind, but it wasn't that easy - afterwards I began feeling really violated, and really low, and my self esteem went down a lot because I thought I'm just a worthless person who no one respects and men can just use.

"I thought, to men I am just a piece of meat.

"The guy texted me a few times afterwards, not asking to meet up but acting everything was normal, so I replied like that.

"After around a few months I started to realise that really wasn't right, but by that point I had no DNA because I'd washed it all off, and only some texts that looked like a one night stand.

"I spoke about it briefly with the police who said they could take a witness statement but they couldn't do anything because the Crown Prosecution Service wouldn't do anything."

Zoe went back on the Tinder app a couple of times after it happened but said "I felt like lamb to the slaughter, it was like self-harm".

"There's a lot of dodgy guys on there, they'll just act like they're on Uber Eats and they're ordering a pizza and ask you to come over to their place for a hook-up - you don't even know me, why would I do that?

"It made me lose faith in men for a long time, I would be very careful, I think people should be friends before they become anything else because people can be a persona to get what they want.

"I now think it's a good thing to have a daytime date, without alcohol, just a coffee and a walk, and if a guy is decent and actually wants to get to know you he would be totally fine with that.

"If you're talking to a predator, they probably won't have the patience for that."



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