The controversial British-American online influencer Andrew Tate has been detained in Romania as a part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.
The self-proclaimed “misogynist” rose to fame after he was removed from the British version of reality TV show Big Brother in 2016, following the release of a video that appeared to show him attacking a woman.
He said at the time that the footage had been edited and was “a total lie trying to make me look bad”.
Now, the 36-year-old former kickboxer boasts over 3.5 million followers on Twitter – and a worldwide profile.
Tate – whose full name is Emory Andrew Tate – was born in December 1986, and his website says he is from Chicago, Illinois.
He is named after his father, an American who worked for the US Air Force in Britain, and who was also a chess master. His mother and father met in the UK before moving to America where Tate was raised until his parents divorced.
Following the divorce, Tate moved to Luton, England, with his mother.
Both Tate and his younger brother Tristan said they experienced poverty in England. In interviews, they recalled going to KFC to save other people’s leftover chicken, and freezing it for future meals.
Tate was a kickboxing world champion four times – but it was online where he found worldwide fame.
On TikTok, videos with the #AndrewTate hashtag have been viewed more than 12.7 billion times. That figure also includes videos made by people criticising the influencer.
What did Andrew Tate say about women?
In an interview with another YouTuber, he said he was “absolutely a misogynist”, and added: “I’m a realist and when you’re a realist, you’re sexist. There’s no way you can be rooted in reality and not be sexist.”
In that same video, he described women as “intrinsically lazy” and said there was “no such thing as an independent female”.
Numerous social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, have banned him – with the latter saying that “misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated”.
Tate was banned from Twitter for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted. He has since been reinstated.
How does Andrew Tate make his money?
Tate has described himself as a “self-made multimillionaire” and said he earned money through “a little webcam business from my apartment”.
“I had 75 women working for me in four locations and I was doing $600,000 a month from webcam,” he said in a podcast interview.
In a now-deleted page on his website he said he brought women into the “adult entertainment industry”.
“My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality, get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I say and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together,” he wrote on the page – which was subsequently taken down in February 2022.
Tate works alongside his brother, Tristan, who told the Daily Mirror that their business was “all a big scam” which saw men pay to talk to women online.
“I’ve seen men sell cars, TVs… This guy’s gran passed away and they were waiting for the sale of the house. When the house was sold he’d get £20,000 and promised it to [a model], to pay for her fake financial problem,” Tristan told the Mirror.
Why was Andrew Tate arrested?
Tate was detained alongside his brother Tristan in December 2022 in a suburb of the Romanian capital, Bucharest, as part of an investigation into allegations of human trafficking and rape, which they deny.
A spokesperson for Tate told the Daily Mirror that they could not provide any details regarding the human trafficking and rape allegations. But he said: “Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can.”
Tate has appeared in countless videos, flaunting an ultra-luxurious lifestyle of fast cars, private jets, and yachts.
Shortly before his arrest in December 2022, he engaged in a row with environmental activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter.
He claimed to have 33 cars and said he would send her a list of their “respective enormous emissions”.