Self-help guru Tony Robbins on Tuesday started defamation proceedings against BuzzFeed in Ireland, over the website’s series of articles detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The plenary summons against BuzzFeed UK — which was filed in High Court and obtained by The Post — asks for damages due to “defamation, malicious falsehood, misrepresentation, breach of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
It comes less than a week after BuzzFeed News reported that Robbins, now 59, was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at an elite California summer camp in 1985.
The article was the sixth in a series by the website on verbal abuse and sexual misconduct allegations against Robbins. He’s also been accused of groping and harassing fans and staffers and berating rape victims. He has denied the allegations.
Robbins’ attorney, Paul Tweed, said in a statement that his client had started legal proceedings “in relation to a number of unfounded allegations published by Buzzfeed, with the intention of undermining our client’s hard-earned international reputation.”
“Notwithstanding the full co-operation and extensive rebuttal evidence offered to Buzzfeed on behalf of our client and a significant number of witnesses, he has nonetheless been subjected to a persistent attack on his character over the course of a number of articles,” the statement said.
BuzzFeed News said it was “unequivocally” standing by its reporting, which was “based on hundreds of interviews, audio recordings, and documentary evidence.”
“Mr Robbins has chosen to sue us abroad rather than address the detailed account of the woman who said he attacked her; the two women who say they saw it happen; and the accounts of dozens of others,” said Matt Mittenthal, spokesperson for BuzzFeed News, in a statement.
“The fact that he doesn’t even seek to address these claims, choosing instead to abuse the Irish court system and attack BuzzFeed, speaks for itself.”
Asked why Robbins had chosen to file in Irish court, one of his reps, Jami Schlicher, said it was because the reporters who wrote the stories are in the UK.
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