Alleged ‘Tinder Swindler’ Defends Being a ‘Legit Businessman,’ Hopes to Clear His Name

"I'm not this monster. I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder."
Shimon Hayut
Screenshot/Inside Edition

The supposed Tinder Swindler still hopes you’ll swipe right.

Despite being banned from dating apps, Shimon Hayut — who goes by Simon Leviev on social media — is looking to clear his name following the Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler.” According to the film, three women — Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Charlotte — believed Hayut to be Simon Leviev, the son of Israeli diamond tycoon Lev Leviev. His alleged victims, which extend beyond just those seen in the film, reportedly gave Hayut an estimated $10 million between 2018 and 2019.

Now, Hayut is telling his side of the story during an “Inside Edition” interview.

“I’m not this monster,” Hayut said. “I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder.”

Hayut continued, “[These women] weren’t conned and they weren’t threatened…I want to clear my name, I want to say to the world, this is not true.”

Prior to the documentary, Hayut faced multiple charges in Israel and was sentenced to prison time in Finland. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Hayut denied fraud claims and told the filmmakers he would file a lawsuit for “defamation and lies.”

Hayut maintained that he did not misrepresent himself as a member of the Leviev family, and added that he doesn’t “feel bad” for the supposed con victims.

“I’m not a fraud and I’m not a fake,” Hayut said. “People don’t know me so they cannot judge me.”

Hayut explained he is a “legit businessman” who purchased Bitcoin in 2011: “I don’t need to say how much it’s worth now,” he added.

Since “The Tinder Swindler” premiered February 2, Hayut has since signed with Gitoni talent management and joined Cameo, charging fans $199 for personalized video messages. Hayut also debuted a NFT collection and launched a T-shirt website with clothing reading, “My enemies are after me.” Per the website, a “portion of the proceeds goes to Global Fund for Children.”

The women featured in the Netflix documentary, Fjellhøy, Sjoholm, and Charlotte, started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise money to clear their debts following the release of the documentary.

“The past few days have been a whirlwind, and we three (Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie) have been completely shocked and floored by the flood of compassion and support from everyone. The sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much,” a statement reads on the GoFundMe page. “We realize there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to, and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.”

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