Before he un­leashed hell at the Boston Marathon, dead bomber Tamer­lan Tsarnaev hid his evil side by striking a lovey-dovey pose with his young American girlfriend! And NOW she's TALKING…

The ENQUIRER has ob­tained the disturbing exclusive photo of Tsarnaev cozying up to pretty brunette Nadine As­cencao – who later accused the champion boxer of beating her up in a violent domestic assault which can be seen ONLY in the newest print edtion of The ENQUIRER currently on sale.

Nadine is now speak­ing out for the first time about the couple’s rocky romance, claiming that Tsarnaev forced her to wear an Islamic head covering, and slapped her when she wore Western clothes and questioned him about another woman.

“I went to Tamerlan’s mosque a couple of times and even looked into converting to make him happy,” Nadine – who started dating Tsarnaev when she was 17 – said in a published interview.

“I thought, ‘This is crazy!’ But I still did it for him.

“Tamerlan had taken my virginity, and said he loved me because I was pure and hadn’t been with any other guys.

“I was in love and scared he’d leave me if I didn’t do what he said. Looking back, I made a lucky escape,” she told The Sun newspaper in Britain.

Tsarnaev – a two-time Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England – posed with Nadine in 2009 at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts gym in Allston, Mass. In the photo, Nadine – now a 25-year-old doctoral student living in Brookline, Mass. – flashes a huge smile while gazing lov­ingly at Tsarnaev as he wraps her hand and forearm.

The couple met as students at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School in Cambridge, Mass., and Nadine has described Tsarnaev as a “bully” and “tough guy.”

But she claimed to be shocked that he was involved in the April 15 bombing that killed three and wounded scores more.

“He was a little tough guy, but I thought that was it,” she told reporters. “In high school, everybody acts like that. He was just like a nor­mal person that sometimes wanted to scare kids in high school, but that was it.”

The couple’s romance even­tually soured.

“One minute he’s this funny, normal guy who liked boxing and having fun, the next he is praying four times a day, watching Islamic videos and talking insane nonsense.

“He once ripped a pair of my jeans and hit me in the face with them. Tamerlan told me I should only talk to Muslim girls, not other ‘slut­ty’ girls.”

As The ENQUIRER report­ed, Tsarnaev was arrested for assault and battery on July 28, 2009, after admitting he slapped Nadine during an argument over another wom­an. Records show the charges were later dismissed.

The other woman the two had been arguing about was reported to be Katherine Rus­sell, who married Tsarnaev in June 2010 and converted to Islam. Now sources say a bit­ter international custody battle is brewing over their nearly 3-year-old daughter Zahara.

“Zahara has become an in­nocent pawn in a war between Katherine and Tamerlan’s family,” a source told The ENQUIRER. “Katherine wants to distance herself and her daughter from Tamerlan’s en­tire clan, especially his parents.

“She said, ‘I don’t want Zaha­ra to have anything to do with them!’ She’s even considering changing her daughter’s last name – because Tsarnaev is one that Americans will never forgive or forget.”

Katherine once lived with her husband and his moth­er, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, in Cambridge, and sources say she liked her mother-in-law.

But her feelings have changed since authorities revealed Tsar­naev and his mother – now living in the capital of the Rus­sian republic of Dagestan – discussed jihad during a 2011 phone call. And since the bomb­ings, Zubeidat has made wild claims that her sons were set up, the whole thing was staged

For ALL the details and to see the exclusive picture – it’s ONLY in the new ENQUIRER!