Self-help guru Tony Robbins has been accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at an elite summer camp in southern California in 1985, according to a BuzzFeed investigation. Robbins, who was 25 at the time, was a “star speaker” hired by the camp, and was seen pinning back the teenager’s arms before kissing her forcefully by two other campers.
The alleged victim’s name has not been released, but she wrote a 2,400-word account of her experience, which BuzzFeed News obtained via her lawyers. She alleges that Robbins, in addition to kissing her without her consent, also repeatedly groped her breasts. Another fellow camper provided BuzzFeed News with a diary entry from that day, where she’d written that Robbins had “basically started to molest” the alleged victim.
Robbins has denied assaulting the then-minor, though his lawyers acknowledged that “a situation” took place at the camp that summer. They describe the events as “non-issue,” which was “addressed with the camp attendees, the young woman, and her parents, and no one suggested that there was a sexual assault.” But nine former campers and counselors (who were adults at the time) recall consoling the alleged victim and reporting her claims to the camp co-founders, Bobbi DePorter and Eric Jensen. DePorter and Jensen acknowledge that they received a report, and held an informal mediation between Robbins and the alleged victim, but do not recall whether they notified law enforcement.
This is the first time these accusations have been reported, though ten other accounts of alleged sexual misconduct by Robbins have been previously reported by BuzzFeed News. Robbins — who has built a multi-billion dollar empire, and worked with Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Oprah, and the Kardashians — has denied all accusations. Additionally, Robbins is now suing BuzzFeed News, following what he calls ” a premeditated and malicious campaign against [him] and [his] life’s work.”
This post has been updated.