Celebrity speaker Tony Robbins hits back at sex abuse claims

Organisers say Dubai event to go ahead in September
Celebrity speaker Tony Robbins hits back at sex abuse claims
Tony Robbins denied the allegations.
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 21 May 2019 10:01 AM

World-renowned celebrity speaker, author and life coach Tony Robbins has hit back on sex abuse claims by former fans and staff ahead of a one-night event in Dubai, which organisers say will go ahead as planned in September.

The claims are based on a yearlong investigation by Buzzfeed News which includes leaked recordings, internal documents and dozens of interviews where Robbins allegedly “berated abuse victims” and made “inappropriate sexual advances” towards former female fans and staffers in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Robbins, however, denied the allegations in an open letter, where he accuses Buzzfeed of "targeting" him and intending to "disparage" him personally.

“Unfortunately, your organisation [Buzzfeed] has made it clear to my team that you intend to move forward with publishing an inaccurate, agenda-driven version of the past, pierced with falsehoods. It is intended to disparage me personally, my family, my life’s work, and the efforts of the millions of individuals around the globe who have taken this journey with me over the last 40-plus years,” he says in his letter.

The investigation by Buzzfeed includes signed statements from two former fans, who went on to work for Robbins, swearing under oath that he sexually harassed them.

Two more women who worked as his assistants told the publication that Robbins expected them “to work alone with him when he was [indecent] in his hotel room or in the shower,” while another former employee claims she was fired after having a consensual sexual relationship with the life coach.

Going ahead

Robbins’ team refused to comment on the story, but told Arabian Business his Dubai event “is not cancelled,” but that he will not be conducting interviews during his visit.

A VIP ticket for the one-night coaching event by Robbins in Dubai is priced at $5,444 (AED19,997) per person, while the cheapest ticket (silver) is available at $272 (AED999) for early bird bookings and $593 (AED2,177) for regular bookings.

Robbins has spent four decades transforming himself from a janitor into arguably one of the world's most popular life coaches, with his events attracting more than 50 million people from 100 countries, and his books and videos have been translated into 190 languages.

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