Sorry for the Swindler?
At least that’s how Cecilie Schrøder Fjellhøy said she feels towards Shimon Hayut, also known as Simon Leviev, in an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show on Friday, Feb. 11.
Cecilie and Pernilla Sjoholm sat with Drew to discuss the aftermath of the Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, in which they both accused Shimon of taking thousands of dollars from them after first meeting on a dating app. (He has not been charged with any crimes connected to his relationship with Cecilie or Pernilla.)
Drew Barrymore asked Cecilie, who called Shimon a “mastermind at what he does,” what she would say to him right now. She replied, “I think that he needs help. I really feel that he needs help and I feel sorry for him. That’s what I would like to say too. I feel really, really sorry for him. A very empty life he has.”
Shimon had responded to the Netflix documentary with a voice memo that played in the film. “I will proceed with the lawsuit against you for discrimination and lies and, you know, everything is based basically on a lie,” he said. “And that’s it, this is how it’s gonna be.”
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Last year, he told Israel’s Channel 13 News, “I was wronged for things I never did.”
On The Drew Barrymore Show, Pernilla said, “I would say that I told him that I’m gonna do everything to let everyone know who he is and I think I sort of accomplished that and just say ‘I told you so.'” Drew responded, “Mission accomplished.”
Pernilla expressed that she and Cecilie share the qualities of being “loving and caring humans,” which possibly made them a target for Shimon. “He’s an adaptor,” she said. “He really adapts to you and your persona, the type of person that you will like and I think he seeks every opportunity that he can use to be honest.”
Pernilla said that following the documentary’s Feb. 2 release, “We’re completely overwhelmed about all attention around it. I would never [have] imagined this in a million years.”
Both she and Cecilie said they are still dealing with debt after allegedly falling victim to his scams, whereas Shimon has not faced criminal charges. He served five months in an Israeli prison relating to four separate fraud charges and was released in May 2020.
Cecilie noted that the documentary provided a “golden opportunity” for the police to take action.
Shimon responded to Netflix with a voice memo played in the film, saying, “I will proceed with the lawsuit against you for discrimination and lies and, you know, everything is based basically on a lie. And that’s it, this is how it’s gonna be.”
After The Tinder Swindler hit Netflix, the popular dating app Tinder has officially banned Shimon from using their services.
On Monday, Feb. 5, a Tinder spokesperson told E! News, “We banned Simon Leviev and any of his known aliases as soon as the story of his actions became public in 2019. He is permanently banned from Tinder. In the lead up to the release of the documentary, we conducted additional internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is not active on Tinder under any of his known aliases.”