By: Aliya Koshalieva
TW: Sexual Assault
On Dec. 29, 2022, Romanian authorities arrested the infamous social media star and former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate for organized crime, human trafficking, and rape. Police also arrested his brother Tristan and two unnamed Romanian women. Tate is known for his misogynistic and homophobic comments, which tie to his hyper-masculine online personality.
This is not Tate’s first run-in with the law. In 2015, British authorities arrested Tate for rape and sexual assault. The police closed the case in 2019 without filing charges. The Romanian investigation began in April 2022, after the U.S. Embassy alerted Romanian authorities that Tate allegedly held a U.S citizen captive at a house in Ilfov. The police subsequently searched the house and found four women. Two of the women, an American and a Romanian, claimed Tate was holding them against their will, which started an investigation into rape and human trafficking by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism. Authorities interrogated and released Tate and his brother as witnesses. Tate allegedly lured women with promises of a romantic relationship before forcing them to produce pornography for social media.
Tate’s recent arrest sparked from a series of Twitter interactions with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. On Dec. 28, 2022, he publicly requested Thunberg’s email address to share his car collection and proof of their enormous emissions with her. Thunberg replied to him with a “Yes, please do enlighten me. email me at email@example.com,” and Tate responded with a video of him seemingly hitting back at Thunberg. Less than 24 hours later, Romanian forces raided Tate’s house and arrested him and his brother, as a pizza box featured in his video served as proof to Romanian authorities that Tate was in the country. Tate also lost an appeal to keep his assets, and authorities seized his 15 cars, 24 designer watches, and large amounts of cash.
As of Jan. 16, three women have come forward as victims of Tate’s abuse. The latest woman to come forward, under the alias “Amelia” for her protection, shared WhatsApp texts and voice messages sent by Tate. In the messages, Tate states how “the more you didnt like it, the more I enjoyed it” and how much “[he] enjoyed raping [her].”
The online reaction to his arrest is both positive and negative. Tate’s fans continue to defend him, despite new information about Tate’s alleged crimes surfacing. On the popular Instagram account RapTV, several of Tate’s fans back his claim that “the Matrix sent their agents” to arrest him, claiming he is innocent and authorities should free him. On the contrary, numerous people celebrated Tate’s arrest as it may finally bring Tate’s alleged victims justice and put an end to his misogynistic and hateful content.
(Sources: AP News, BBC News, Buzzfeed News, Insider, Newsweek, RapTV, Vice World News, Washington Post)