Simon Leviev Gives First Interview Since Release Of 'The Tinder Swindler' Netflix Series
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Featured Image Credit: Inside Edition/YouTube/Netflix
Shimon Hayut, a.k.a Simon Leviev/the Tinder Swindler, has spoken out in his first interview since the documentary about him was released on Netflix.
The recently released two-hour documentary alleging Hayut to be a conman who utilised popular dating app Tinder to pose as a prominent Israeli businessman to scam women out of millions of dollars.
In targeting the woman and becoming their boyfriend under the name of Simon Leviev, it is claimed Hayut pretended that he was the heir of a wealthy diamond company. Allegedly, he would tell his victims that 'his enemies' were threatening his life in order to get them to give him money under the pretence that he would later be able to pay it back.
Hayut previously spoke out against the documentary to promise viewers of the series that he would 'share [his] side of the story in the next few days', asking them to 'keep an open mind and heart'.
He has since branded the series as being 'like a made-up movie'.
In an exclusive interview with Inside Edition, Hayut addressed the accusations, defending himself as having been 'just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder. I am not a Tinder Swindler'.
'They are presenting it as a documentary, but in truth, it's like a completely made-up movie. I'm the biggest gentleman in the world, and they call me the Tinder Swindler. I'm not a fraud and I'm not a fake,' Hayut says in a clip shared by Entertainment Weekly.
He resolved, 'People cannot judge me. I'm not a Tinder Swindler.'
The Netflix documentary focused on the voices of Hayut's alleged victims, who included Pernilla Sjoholm and Cecilie Fjellhøy.
The documentary claims Hayut travelled around Europe, utilising the dating app to pick up unsuspecting women. Allegedly, he lavished them with gifts and expensive days out to give them the impression that he was well-off and could afford to pay the loans he asked of them back. But in reality he was just using money he had scammed from other women, the documentary alleges.
It is claimed that Hayut conned his Tinder targets out of more than $10 million (£7.4 million).
Hayut was previously found guilty of defrauding several women and served time in Finland.
However, in Greece on December 19, Hayut was arrested for using a fake passport and later convicted of fraud, theft and forgery.
He was subsequently sentenced to 15 months in prison, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, he was released after just five months.
Despite how he remains wanted in several countries on charges of fraud and forgery, according to his most recent interview, Hayut has a new girlfriend who is a model and is living his life as a 'free man' in Israel.