Tony Robbins is facing new accusations of sexual misconduct, with four additional women coming forward to detail their allegations against the famed motivational speaker.
The new accusations come on the heels of a recent article published by BuzzFeed News, revealing a host of serious allegations against the self-help guru.
“A yearlong investigation by BuzzFeed News, based on leaked recordings, internal documents, and dozens of interviews with fans and insiders, reveals how Robbins has berated abuse victims and subjected his followers to unorthodox and potentially dangerous techniques. And former female fans and staffers have accused him of inappropriate sexual advances,” the article states.
“Two former followers who went on to work for Robbins provided BuzzFeed News 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,” the report continues.
“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,” the article details. “And another former employee said she was fired after having a consensual sexual relationship with Robbins. The events described by all five women took place in the 1990s and early 2000s, when Robbins’ fame was skyrocketing and before he married his second wife.”
Robbins responded to the article in a lengthy post on Medium addressed to the editors and board of directors of BuzzFeed.
“Unfortunately, your organization 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,” he wrote. “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.”
As for the allegations themselves, Robbins wrote, “Let me be clear, 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.”
Following Robbins’ comments, BuzzFeed News is now reporting the claims of four more women who detail their allegations that Robbins “groped them, exposed himself, or made unwanted advances during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s”. This brings the total number of accusers to nine.
Kimberly Stokes, who was employed by Robbins as a live-in personal assistant when she was 22 , told BuzzFeed News that “he once walked into her bathroom while she was showering and ‘dropped his towel,’ exposing himself.” Stokes also said that he had rebuffed Robbins’ sexual advances on a prior occasion.
In addition, Sophiah Koikas said that Robbins pulled her hand onto his crotch and groped her breast at a seminar in Hawaii, while Mary Lantz alleges that Robbins sexually harassed her at an Ohio event, telling her she was “driving him crazy,” while also “kissing her, hugging her, and touching her breast.”
A fourth woman, Lucie Galvez, alleges that Robbins was interviewing her for a job as his personal assistant in 2001 when he asked her, “How do you feel about nudity?” According to Galvez, who was in her 20s at the time, Robbins told her that the job “would involve working in close quarters with him and his then-girlfriend, and that the couple might be naked.” Galvez told BuzzFeed News she found the interview to be “sexually inappropriate, almost predatory.”
“It felt like I was getting interviewed for sexual threesomes as opposed to an assistant’s job,” she explained.
In a statement to ET Canada, Robbins’ spokesperson Jennifer Connelly said of the new allegations, “Tony Robbins has never behaved in the reckless and malicious manner suggested by the false and unfounded allegations published by BuzzFeed.”
The statement continued: “BuzzFeed has manipulated facts and sourcing to present a false and one-sided negative narrative supporting its predetermined agenda to use Mr. Robbins as a convenient celebrity target. What BuzzFeed has published is unsubstantiated and sensationalized tabloid journalism largely relying on alleged events from 20-30 years ago.”
“BuzzFeed has established a pattern of manipulating and misstating the facts in order to generate traffic and revenue for shareholders,” the statement added. “You can see this in their use of the stories they have published about Mr. Robbins and associated social media postings to solicit donations.”
The statement concluded, “BuzzFeed’s reporting is already failing to hold up to the scrutiny of others, including individuals that they interviewed, who are speaking up and pointing out BuzzFeed’s failure to report the truth.”
According to BuzzFeed, Robbins’ law firm previously accused their reporters of “pursuing a ‘predetermined’ narrative against Robbins ‘as part of their ‘Me Too’ Agenda,'” and “threatened legal action that would have a ‘devastating impact on the financial condition of BuzzFeed and its investors.’”
Last year, Robbins came under fire for comments about the #MeToo movement, stating during a speech that women were using the movement as a “drug” to “try to get significance,” adding that “anger is not empowerment.”
He later apologized for the comments, writing, “sometimes, the teacher has to become the student and it is clear that I still have much to learn.”