The Tinder Swindler subject Simon Leviev, born Shimon Hayut, has addressed the Netflix documentary about him.
The documentary details how “Leviev” used a fake identity to allegedly pose as the son of Lev Leviev, a billionaire Israeli-Russian diamond mogul. He connected with women on the dating app Tinder and, after spending a lot of money on them, would scam them out of their own funds by pretending to be in danger. While scamming one woman, he would be spending the money obtained to scam the next woman. Essentially, “Leviev” was allegedly running a pyramid scheme.
The documentary focuses on three of the women involved – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm, and Ayleen Charlotte – who claim he swindled them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Asked about the documentary in an interview with Inside Edition (opens in new tab) (H/T IndieWire (opens in new tab)), “Leviev” said: “I’m not this monster that everybody has created. [The women] weren’t conned and they weren’t threatened.”
He added that he never presented himself as the son of Leviev, and doesn’t feel bad about something he claims he didn’t do – but feels bad for himself.
“I want to clear my name, I want to say to the world this is not true,” he said in another clip. “I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder. I am not a Tinder Swindler.” He also claimed (opens in new tab) that he made his money from bitcoin.
This isn’t strictly the first time Hayut has spoken out. As reported by Insider (opens in new tab), he also addressed the documentary on Instagram before his account was deactivated. “If I was a fraud why would I act on Netflix,” he wrote. “I mean they should have arrested me when we were still shooting. It’s high time the ladies start saying the truth.”
He added: “If you can’t give them world they want they’ll turn yours to hell. I will be addressing the whole world on Friday. Stay tuned and tag others.”
The Tinder Swindler is streaming on Netflix now. If you’re all caught up, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows to fill out your watchlist.