A “new masculine pick-up artist” who called for the legalisation of rape has been forced to cancel a series of events in the UK after claiming he could no longer guarantee the safety of those who wanted to attend.
Daryush Valizadeh, who calls himself Roosh V, had announced events for “heterosexual men only” across the country, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow, on Saturday.
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 Scottish Government to ban him from Scotland received more than 55,000 signatures.
Organised by Cat Boyd, the petition states: “Promoting rape is hate speech, and should be treated as such.”
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.