Hafthor Bjornsson Denies Accusations of Domestic Violence

Strongman and actor Hafthor Bjornsson’s career and personal life are in flux after he was accused of domestic violence by two former girlfriends.

Three times in six months, police were called to Bjornsson’s Iceland home in response to domestic disturbances. Most recently, neighbors called the police on June 8th after witnessing a confrontation between Bjornsson and his former fiancée Andreu Sif Jónsdóttir, with whom Bjornsson broke up in 2016.

The dispute allegedly revolves around custody of their Pomeranian dog Asterix. Jónsdóttir has accused Bjornsson of barring her from leaving the apartment, leading her to flee through the kitchen window and ask his neighbors to call the police. She later filed charges of domestic violence with the Metropolitan Police.

In an interview with the Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið, Bjornsson said that he only tried to stop her from leaving.

On Thursday I was allowed to have the dog, but she doesn’t want me to have the dog, and wants to come over when I wanted to keep the dog overnight. He’s a wonderful dog, and I love him a lot. You know how things can turn ugly when people break up, things get heated and we start arguing.

Two weeks later, the same newspaper ran a front-page interview with Bjornsson’s ex-fiancée Thelmu Björk Steinman. She claimed Bjornsson subjected her to years of physical violence during their two-year relationship, which ended in their late teens, and graphically described several instances of violence and one of sexual assault, saying that “his fame should not stop people from knowing the truth.” The two have an eight-year-old daughter who lives with Steinman in Copenhagen.

In a Facebook post this week, Bjornsson denied any wrongdoing, claiming that Jónsdóttir’s accusations are related to a financial dispute and that Steinman’s relate to a custody dispute.

Today I want to say that I have never subjected Andreu to violence, nor did I do so to other women. I also think people should know that Andreu has financial claims on me, which I have not approved and can not accept.  I believe that there is a direct connection between Andreu’s claim and her police case. (…)

I never used any kind of violence on Thelmu. However, our friends and relatives often spoke of the fact that Thelmu had been mentally and physically violent toward me. I think other people, including close relatives of hers, have had similar experiences with her. (…)

I have nothing to hide from either of these two women or anyone else.

He also expressed shock that journalists published the interview, and his lawyer announced that he would be suing for libel.

According to the Iceland Monitor, three Icelandic companies are reconsidering their promotional contracts with Bjornsson. WOW Airlines, which holds an annual strength competition in Reykjavik — at which Bjornsson pressed 430 pounds this year — has pulled an ad that shows Bjornsson holding two air hostesses.

Meanwhile, representatives from Hafið fishmongers and Gló health food restaurant have respectively said they’re “assessing” and “reconsidering” his contracts, though they haven’t made any decisions.

This story is still developing.

Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.