Tony Robbins, the self-help guru known for helping people conquer fears by walking over hot coals, is under fire himself following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
A year-long investigation by Buzzfeed News has five women alleging the motivational speaker, 59, of “inappropriate sexual advances.” The outlet also claims Robbins has “berated abuse victims and subjected his followers to unorthodox and potentially dangerous techniques.” Robbins called the report “ridiculous.”
Robbins, whose legal team accused the news outlet of “pursuing a ‘predetermined’ narrative against him ‘as part of their ‘Me Too’ Agenda,’” wrote a lengthy essay denying the allegations.
According to BuzzFeed, two of Robbins’s former followers provided the publication “with signed statements swearing under oath that they felt he had sexually harassed them by repeatedly pursuing them after they made clear they weren’t interested.”
Additionally, “two more women who worked as his assistants said Robbins expected them to work alone with him when he was naked in his hotel room or in the shower.”
And another former employee “said she was fired after having a consensual sexual relationship with Robbins.”
The events allegedly all took place in the 1990s and early 2000s, BuzzFeed reports, during the time “when Robbins’ fame was skyrocketing and before he married his second wife.”
In Robbins’s essay addressing the claims, he said they “range from indistinct to ridiculous.”
“We have evidence to prove that your reporters rejected and otherwise ignored factual accounts from several individuals you contacted,” he wrote. “In some cases, those individuals were even harassed and lied to when their accounts did not align with Buzzfeed’s predetermined thesis.”
Here is one woman’s account that he shared:
Robbins — who has worked with celebrities including Donald Trump, Oprah and the Kardashians —went on to say that, “While my open-classroom therapeutic methods are not for everyone, and while I am on my best day still only an imperfect human being, I have never behaved in the reckless, irresponsible, or malicious manner intimated by false, unfounded, and incendiary allegations suggested by BuzzFeed story-tellers.”
In the open letter, Robbins denied “engaging in any alleged ‘inappropriate sexual behavior,’” as well as sending his security guards into crowds to solicit women for him. Through lawyers, he also said he was “never intentionally naked” in front of staff, his lawyers said in a letter. “To the extent that he may have been unclothed at various times in his home or in hotels when working while either dressing or showering, and whether a personal assistant may have been present for some reason at that time, Mr. Robbins has no recollection.”
The report also talked about how Robbins “unleashed expletive-laden tirades on survivors of rape and domestic violence after inviting them to share their stories in front of a vast audience.” Last year, another woman reportedly said her husband was physically and emotionally abusive and Robbins accused her of “lying.” Through his lawyers, Robbins denied his comments to abuse victims were harmful.
Last year, Robbins was slammed for saying women were using the #MeToo movement “to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else.” He apologized soon after, saying, “Sometimes, the teacher has to become the student and it is clear that I still have much to learn.”
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