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‘Pick-up artist’ Roosh V cancels UK events amid anger over ‘pro-rape’ comments

Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh (Photo: Bartek Kucharczyk)
Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh (Photo: Bartek Kucharczyk)

Daryush Valizadeh, who calls himself Roosh V, had announced events for “heterosexual men only” across the UK on Saturday, including two in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The 36-year-old American has published 15 books on how to “pick up women” and posts tips on his website on how to “bang” women.

On his Return of Kings blog, he said: “I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups cannot be made private in time.

“While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return of Kings meetups.

“The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologise to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”

Protesters had called for the meetings to be banned and a petition lobbying the police and Home Office to ban the UK events has more than 55,000 signatures.

Valizadeh labelled Glasgow a ‘convict resettlement zone’ in a Twitter post, claiming that he had had more threats related to the city’s event than ‘anywhere else combined’.

Valizadeh's reaction to online threats against him relating to the Glasgow event
Valizadeh’s reaction to online threats against him relating to the Glasgow event

Katie Pruszynski, who started the petition on Change.org, said: “He encourages men to ignore when a woman says ‘no’, he believes rape inside private property should be legal and he routinely refers to women as ‘the enemy’.

“He believes sexual gratification is a man’s right, wilfully disregarding the issue of consent.”

She added in her post online: “We will not accept this form of terror against women. Pro-rape advocates directly threaten our safety and normalise the abuse of women and girls.”

In one of his posts, Mr Valizadeh said rape should be legalised “if done on private property”.

“Less women will be raped because they won’t voluntarily drug themselves with booze and follow a strange man into a bedroom, and less men will be unfairly jailed for what was anything but a maniacal alley rape,” he wrote.

The events had been planned for London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Shrewsbury.