TV chef Anders Vendel said in a Facebook post that he was beaten up by three men, two of whom bound his arms behind his back, while the third beat him in the face. He estimated that he was punched twenty times in the face, which took place at 4am in central Malmö on Saturday.
The attack left him with a broken nose and extensive bruising around his right eye, mouth and jaw.
In the Facebook post, which has since been deleted but has been widely cited by populist media including Russian state propaganda channel RT, Vendel had said the men thought he resembled the US President-elect. He also said they were Muslim.
But in a comment to The Local on Monday, the chef said the way his case was being used abroad was “scary.”
Headlines in RT, the Daily Mail and various other global media emphasised the attackers' supposed religion. None of them had spoken to the chef.
“I was angry, hurt and humiliated when I wrote what I was thinking at the time,” Vendel said.
“I'm absolutely not a racist, not after what happened either. It could have been anyone. I'm alive – it will be OK.”
Swedish chef Anders Vendel. Photo: Private
When asked whether he could be sure that the men were Muslims, Vendel told The Local that while he was sure they were speaking Arabic, he couldn't be certain that they were Muslim. Sweden is home to many Middle Eastern Christians, as well as Muslims.
Vendel also stressed that he was a regular at the fast food joint: “It's really nice. There aren't usually that many 'white people', but I like it.”
A police spokesman told The Local that a complaint about the attack had been received and was being investigated.