Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler continues to enthral audiences, more so for the mystery surrounding Simon Leviev, real name Shimon Hayut. From continuously changing his Instagram from public to private and charging fans serious money for personal video messages, Leviev has remained somewhat of an enigma. But now, Leviev has finally given his first interview about The Tinder Swindler and he has a lot to say.
Talking exclusively to Inside Edition, Leviev, who famously refused to be interviewed by Netflix, avidly defended himself against the claims made in the documentary. Speaking of the victims, he says: “They weren’t conned, they weren’t threatened.” When asked if he feels bad for the women who spoke out, Leviev says that he doesn’t. Instead, he feels bad for himself: “I feel bad for what happened to myself. I want to clear my name, I want to say to the world, ‘This is not true.’” He later adds: “I’m not a fraud. I’m not a fake. People don’t know me, so they cannot judge me.”
He also claims that he never presented himself as the son of a millionaire diamond mogul. So how on earth has he accumulated money to fund such a lavish lifestyle? Bitcoin, of course. “I’m a legit businessman. I bought bitcoin in 2011, which [was then worth] nothing,” he explained. “I don’t need to say how much it’s worth now.”
Describing himself as “not this monster that everybody has created”, Leviev claims that Netflix presented this story “as a documentary, but in truth it’s a completely made-up movie.” He went on to say he’s the “biggest gentleman in the world.”
Leviev was joined by his current girlfriend in the sit-down interview, Israeli model Kate Konlin. When asked what she thought of the Netflix documentary, she was surprised at how someone could “build such a fake story”. She also claims that Leviev has never borrowed any money from her.