Roosh V, the controversial “neo-masculinist”, has declared himself the “most hated man in the world” at a secret press conference in a Washington DC hotel.
The 36-year-old responsible for Return of Kings, a self-proclaimed “blog for heterosexual, masculine men” also shunned his label of “pro-rape” blogger.
“A year ago I wrote an article, 'How to Stop Rape'. This article, to a ten-year-old it was obvious that I didn't intend to legalise rape or cause harm against women, but starting on Sunday a lot of you have lied saying I'm a pro-rape advocate”.
Referring back to the inflammatory 2015 blog post where he said it should be legal to rape women “when done off public grounds”, Roosh V said he “never imagined that people would take that in a literal sense.”
“That article was making a point about personal responsibility — that a woman’s safety is not only in the hands of men, but in their own hands too,” he added.
Roosh V, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, repeatedly referred to his previous remarks as satire and invoked his right to free speech.
But backtracking on himself, the contentious figure continued to put the blame on women as victims of rape rather than their perpetrators.
“If a woman got raped, that is a sad thing. It’s a bad thing. But whose fault is it? Is it the woman’s fault? No, I’m not saying that.
“If I get a BMW car right now and I leave the key inside and park it in a bad area and it gets robbed, whose fault is that?” he asked reporters.
Standing up for Bill Cosby, Roosh V also said the rape allegations were “weird” and claimed he didn’t think his accusers were being “honest”.
The blogger, who now has 20,000 Twitter followers, also took issue with the media allegations that his meet-ups were “rape rallies”.
“I had organised meet-ups around the world for men to enjoy a social happy hour, just to meet and talk in private about anything—work, politics, girls—anything,” he explained to journalists.
“You said the meet-ups are for rapists to gather to learn how to rape - 'They're gonna exchange tips!' Some of you called it a rape rally - a rape rally. What the hell is that? A rape rally?”
Last week, Roosh V cancelled public meetings for Return of Kings because he claimed he could “no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend”.
In recent weeks, protesters have made demands for Roosh V to be banned from the UK, Australia, the US and Canada and the online hackers organisation Anonymous have published his family’s home address on social media.
As well as denying the stamp of rape apologist, Roosh V rejected claims he still lived at home and instead said he lived in “Europe”.
“They said I eat my mom's meatloaf everyday,” he added.
The controversial figure who has written 15 self-published books exploring “neo-masculinity” and other themes also declared his public endorsement for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Just streets away from the press conference, protesters gathered for a counter protest for one of Roosh V’s canceled meetings. This was just one of 100 events which were cancelled at the last minute last week.
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