A court in Bucharest, Romania upheld the 30-day arrest of controversial influencer Andrew Tate on Tuesday, rejecting his appeal against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his arrest from 24 hours to 30 days. Tate, 36, a dual British-US citizen, was arrested on December 29th along with his brother Tristan (34) on charges of organized crime, human trafficking, and rape. Two Romanian women were also taken into custody.
In a court document obtained by ABC News, the judge said “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored,” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”
Who is Andrew Tate? As described in a profile on Vox.com:
Andrew Tate is a 35-year-old former kickboxer, ex-reality show contestant, and current podcaster-slash-”King of Toxic Masculinity” whose inflammatory diatribes against women, whom he compares to property, have become viral fodder on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube over the last several years.
Until recently, he was also the head of a subscription-based online course program called Hustler’s University, in which customers paid $49 per month to learn, supposedly, how to earn $10,000 per month through crypto investing, drop-shipping, or other scam-adjacent activities.
“I am very disappointed. The measure seems excessive to me,” said Eugen Vidineac, the Tate brother’s lawyer, in a translated statement to Romanian-based media Gândul.
Romanian officials allege that the Tate brothers used the “lover boy” method — in which victims are seduced and later forced into subjugation through abuse or coercion — to exploit women into a sex-trafficking scheme. The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) claims six victims have been identified who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” in order to force them to create porn.
Tate — an “alpha male” influencer, former kickboxer, and self-confessed misogynist — rose to prominence after videos featuring his controversial views began circulating on TikTok last year. Notable videos include Tate telling rape victims to “bear responsibility” for their attacks and descriptions of how he would choke a woman with a machete if she cheated on him. Tate also appeared on the UK edition of Big Brother in 2016, but was removed from the show after video footage emerged of him hitting a woman with a belt.
The judge said that letting Andrew and Tristan Tate go free would represent “a danger to public order”
In a now-deleted YouTube video, Tate said “40 percent” of his reason for moving to Romania was “because in Eastern Europe, none of this garbage flies,” apparently referencing the “MeToo Era” and the country’s seemingly lax laws on sexual assault. Tate was banned from Twitter in 2017 but has since had his account (with 4.5 million followers) reinstated by new Twitter CEO Elon Musk, resulting in a viral spat with environmental activist Greta Thunberg shortly before his arrest. Tate has also been banned from YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.