Kenneth Tong: The Interview (or Portrait of a Sociopath)

Johann Hari in his blog (was also published in the London Evening Standard):

550w_bb10_kenneth Women should “get thin or die trying,” and you can “never start too young.” It is better for a girl to “risk [her] life dieting than be sub-par by being a plus-size.” Remember: “Hunger hurts but starving works.” When an ultra-wealthy but forgotten former British reality show Big Brother contestant called Kenneth Tong started Tweeting these sentiments – and worse – a fortnight ago, a Twitter-storm broke. Everyone from Rhianna to Gordon Ramsay told their followers he was a dangerous fool, but Tong gathered tens of thousands of young girls who followed him. He became the most discussed subject on Twitter in the world for three days. His message? “The words lunch, breakfast, and dinner should now mean nothing to you, you have eaten enough for a lifetime. Stop. You are disgusting.”

Then Tong claimed it was all a hoax – just an hour after I interviewed him. In our long discussion he passionately defended every word he had said, but when I told him that his arguments could kill young girls and expose him to serious legal liability, he visibly began to panic. When I spoke to him on the phone later in the day, after his ‘revelation’, he said “it was dangerous ground we were treading on, I can see that now” and begged me not to publish his comments. So I don’t believe it was a hoax at all – but that he was finally scared off by the legal implications of what he was saying and doing. You can judge for yourself.

I meet Tong at a dingy restaurant in Chinatown in London. He is a short man in a gray suit who manages to look both baby-faced and wizened at the same time. He is lined with great wodges of bling: a sparkling silver necklace hangs from his neck and gold flashes from his wrists. He hurries up to me and smirks: “I am the most hated man in Britain!”

More here.