Influencer Jay Shetty Accused Of Lying About Past: All You Need To Know

Influencer Jay Shetty is under scrutiny after a report alleged that he fabricated details about his life and plagiarised some of his social media posts.

Influencer Jay Shetty Accused Of Lying About Past: All You Need To Know

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British Influencer and author Jay Shetty is under scrutiny after claims emerged that he lied about his life story and plagiarized social media posts.

A report by the British daily newspaper The Guardian said that Mr Shetty, who officiated actors Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's marriage in 2022, falsely claimed to have spent three years in a temple in India.

Jay Shetty Controversy

Jay Shetty runs a meditation startup valued at $2 billion. His official website said that during his school years, he spent vacations living with monks in India, immersing himself in their wisdom and teachings.

However, The Guardian report claims that the 36-year-old falsely claimed to have spent three years in a temple in India.

“After graduating, Shetty forgoes a life of material success to live as a monk himself,” said the report. “Three years later, he has another revelation: his purpose in life is not to live the humble life of a monk but to use his preternatural oratory skills to share wisdom with the world. Thus begins his transformation into a public self-help personality and his swift rise to fame. Shetty's success is largely predicated on this riches-to-rags-to-riches backstory,” it said.

Questioning the veracity of Jay Shetty's story, the report added, " But people close to Shetty have questioned whether his conversion to a life of monkhood was quite so dramatic. Much of Shetty's spiritual education took place not in India but in Watford, an orbital town outside north-west London, they say. He was there not because of spiritual discovery in college but because he grew up in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness."

The British daily newspaper also questioned Mr Shetty's academic qualifications, pointing out discrepancies in his resume, including a degree from a business school that does not offer the claimed course. 

The report said, “Shetty is hardly the first self-help guru to embellish his spiritual credentials to amass followers, but he demands huge sums of money for his guidance. Shetty has used his spiritual authority to launch a number of subscription and education services, including the life-coaching school, which charges $7,400 a term for ‘Postgraduate Diploma (Level 7) qualifications' – equivalent to a master's degree.” 

Did Jay Shetty Respond?

Jay Shetty has not directly addressed the accusations.

However, following the report, Mr Shetty has reportedly directed his team to attribute content properly, delete a number of posts, and hire a crisis PR firm for a comprehensive SEO campaign.

People who know Mr Shetty are disputing his claim of spending an extended time in India as a monk, the report said.

According to Mr Shetty's travel blog at the time, he considered "Bhaktivedanta Manor" as his main ashram.

In a 2011 post, he mentioned returning from "almost four months in India" before engaging in activities at London's City University and "distributing flyers and books on the streets all over the UK and enjoying festivals." 

However, some of his former associates said that he primarily stayed at an estate near London called Bhaktivedanta Manor, rather than in Indian city Mumbai.

While Mr Shetty's legal team maintains he spent only a few months at Bhaktivedanta Manor before moving to India, others disagree, The Guardian reported.

How Social Media Reacted

Social media reactions to the accusations against Jay Shetty have been mixed.

Some claim that they were already suspicious of him being a “fraud”, while others were “disheartened” by the news. 

A user wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “Why are people actually surprised by Jay Shetty lying about his past and plagiarising content? Have y'all learned nothing from every single public figure/influencer who claims to be  “enlightened” and shares cheesy quotes and pop psychology “facts” on their spiritual mission.”

Another wrote, “This is so disheartening. I have heard a few of Jay Shetty's podcasts, the pop psychology, the secular spiritualism, hints at Krishna consciousness, his soothing manner of speaking, can quite understand the mass following. Whether he wore sweatpants & not robes when he was a monk, is frankly inconsequential. Hope Shetty speaks out about these accusations.”

“The way I was always waiting for Jay Shetty to get exposed. I knew he was a scam!!!!” read another comment. 

Someone stated, “Jay Shetty finally being exposed as a fraud is the downfall I was praying for.”

“Jay Shetty being a fake persona is real but there was this video from him which made my approach towards life simple, always grateful for that.”

Jay Shetty is the author of the bestselling book 'Think Like A Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day' and has achieved significant success in the wellness industry.