Home Features Climbing Star Nirmal Purja Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations
2 weeks ago

Climbing Star Nirmal Purja Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Nirmal Purja MBE

Renowned mountaineer Nirmal Purja, celebrated for scaling all 14 eight-thousanders in record time, is facing serious accusations of sexual misconduct from two women.

Former Miss Finland Lotta Hintsa and Dr. April Leonardo, a Californian climber, allege Purja engaged in unwanted sexual advances. Purja vehemently denies the claims, calling them “false and defamatory” through his lawyer.

Hintsa alleges Purja assaulted her in a Kathmandu hotel room in March 2023. She claims he pressured her into a private meeting instead of a planned public coffee chat. Her account, published in The New York Times, details unwanted touching and advances despite her protests.

Dr. Leonardo, a client on a K2 expedition guided by Purja, accuses him of repeated unwanted kissing and physical contact.

The New York Times report reveals that Hintsa hinted at a similar encounter with a famous climber in her book “The Mountains of My Life 2,” without naming Purja. Purja refused to comment on the allegations directly but issued a denial through his lawyer. He reportedly intends to take legal action against both women.

These accusations cast a shadow over Purja’s accomplishments and highlight the issue of sexual misconduct within the mountaineering community.

The New York Times reports that both women have shared details of the incidents with friends and family, with some messages seen by the newspaper. The legal battle and its outcome will likely determine the long-term impact on Purja’s reputation and career.

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