Journalists collected audio recordings, internal documents and conducted dozens of interviews throughout the year.
BuzzFeed has published a large investigation of sexual harassment charges against the motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins. The material entitled “Unlimited Strength” was prepared throughout the year: dozens of interviews were taken, audio recordings and internal documents were collected. The prosecutors were current and former employees, as well as attendees of seminars and lectures.
- According to the employees, Robbins created around him a “sexual circle” of women. He regularly singled out listeners from the crowd and showed them signs of attention, and also asked the guards to take phone numbers from the girls he liked. This was confirmed by those who repeatedly attended the lectures;
- The events described by part of the female Robbins took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The former employee told about the dismissal after she slept with him by mutual consent.Two employees said that Robbins sexually harassed them and, despite obvious refusals to go on a date or start a relationship, he continued to pursue. Two more girls added that they worked with him when he was without clothes in the room or in the shower – that was his requirement;
- According to the audio recordings, Robbins repeatedly criticized and insulted girls telling about rape and victims of domestic violence. In 2018, he shouted at a woman who complained to her husband, saying that she behaved like a “crazy bitch.”To other girls, he said that they used “lies against their men” to establish control over those;
- According to journalists, at least two Robbins employees signed non-disclosure agreements after unwanted sexual activities. Also, the life coach often asked visitors of the lectures to “touch themselves and simulate an orgasm,” especially highlighting women;
- In April 2018, in the midst of the anti-harassment movement “Me Too”, a life coach criticized some of its participants. According to him, girls use such situations to “give themselves meaning”. After being criticized by activists, Robbins apologized and promised to “study his behavior”;
- Robbins’ lawyers responded to the claims in a letter: they did not confirm that he forced the employees to be present in the room when he was without clothes: “Probably, at various times he could work naked or take a shower, but Mr. Robbins does not remember that at the same time there was a personal assistant nearby.”. Robbins also appealed to fans and began to deny all allegations of misconduct.
- In BuzzFeed, they added that the law firm Lavely & Singer, representing the interests of Robbins, threatened two heroes of this investigation. They were sent letters, where they promised lawsuits for tens of millions of dollars. In addition, the office threatened to sue the publication itself, promising to “bring down the destructive influence” on it and investors.
Tony Robbins became widely known in Russia in September 2018, when he spoke at the Moscow Olympic. The cost of tickets for his performance reached 500 thousand rubles. Participants criticized the low level of organization, and users of social networks ridiculed those who paid large sums for a life coach lecture.