Here’s a timeline of how social media personality and ex-kickboxer Andrew Tate, known for misogynistic hate speech, found himself potentially facing years in prison for human trafficking, while sparring with activist Greta Thunberg along the way.
launched an investigation into Tate and his brother Tristan and reportedly raided Tate’s Romania home, where he was allegedly holding two women captive, after being tipped off by the U.S. Embassy that an American citizen was being held against their will.Romanian authorities
denied he held women captive or committed any wrongdoing in an interview with Tucker Carlson, claiming the raid was an act of “swatting” — a false report of a crime to authorities.Tate
provoked a Twitter feud with climate activist Greta Thunberg, taunting her with the “enormous emissions” of his 33 cars and requesting an email address to which he would send a list of his car collection.Tate
responded, inviting him to “enlighten” her at a fake email address — “firstname.lastname@example.org” — and later that day, Tate posted a response video showing him smoking a cigar sitting next to two pizza boxes — which he vowed not to recycle — attacking her climate activism.In a viral retort, Thunberg
detained by Romanian authorities for a 24-hour period on human trafficking charges with six victims identified — one suspect was also charged with rape, though local laws prevented authorities from naming the suspect.Tate, his brother, and two other individuals were
seized 11 cars belonging to Tate and his brother (equaling a third of the collection Tate bragged to Thunberg about having on Twitter), including a Rolls-Royce Wraith and an Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate, and are investigating whether they were purchased with money made from human trafficking.Romanian authorities
appeared in court in Bucharest to appeal their 30-day detention, with a decision expected later on Tuesday.Tate, his brother, and two Romanian women who are also in custody,
Andrew Tate first rose to prominence as a world champion kickboxer and a contestant on the British reality series Big Brother in 2016 (which he was quickly removed from after a video surfaced of him hitting a woman with a belt) — but he’s now best known as a self-described misogynist who uses social media platforms to appeal to young men. He’s curated an image characterized by “traditional masculine values,” pointing to his fast car collection and his big house — but he’s become notorious for the many offensive comments he’s made about women. Tate has said rape victims must bear responsibility for their assaults, questioned why women are able to drive, and bragged about how he would hit a woman if she accused him of cheating. He moved to Romania in 2017, saying he wanted to live in a country where “corruption is accessible for everybody” and police would be less likely to investigate sexual assault allegations. Tate racked up millions of followers on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook before being banned from all three platforms in August 2022; his recently reinstated Twitter account has 4.3 million followers. His social media presence has sparked protests for his removal among sexual assault and domestic violence survivor organizations, who have raised concerns about the impact of his misogyny on his young male audience.
«The four suspects … appear to have created an organised crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialised websites for a cost,» Romanian prosecutors said in a statement on Dec. 29.
3.9 million. That’s how many likes Thunberg’s first tweet in response to Tate garnered in just one week, becoming one of the most liked tweets ever.
A widely shared internet theory that the pizza boxes in Tate’s video—prompted by Thunberg—which were from a Romanian pizzeria, allowed authorities to confirm he was still in the country has been debunked. Though he was detained the day after he tweeted the video, Romanian authorities denied the connection between the pizza boxes and his arrest, and maintained he was detained because he has been under investigation since April — though a Romanian anti-organized crime agency spokeswoman called the rumor “funny.”
Andrew Tate, brother charged in Romania with human trafficking (The Washington Post)
Who is Andrew Tate, ‘king of toxic masculinity,’ accused of trafficking? (The Washington Post)