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The online influencer, popular with young people, faces allegations of human trafficking and rape after looking for a place where "corruption is accessible to all".
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pass throughAndrew Higgins
Reporting from Bucharest, Romania
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Andrew Tate, the no-nonsense online influencer and self-proclaimed "King of Toxic Masculinity", makes no secret of why he chose Romania as his home and business base.
"I enjoy living in a society where my money, influence and power mean I am not inferior or subject to any law," Tate said.tell his fans.
But like most of what the former kickboxer told his millionsyoung male followerOn social media - including claiming to be a billionaire and holder of 19 passports - Tate said Romania, a safe haven for antisocial behavior, was more fiction than reality.
Romanian authoritiesarrest mr. tate, a US and UK citizen, and his brother Tristan were charged in December with human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group. The pair, who spent three months in a prison in the capital Bucharest, deny any wrongdoing,Now under house arrest, awaiting trial.
Their house occupies a sprawling compound in a dark cul-de-sac in Voluntari, a small town outside Bucharest dotted with new office buildings and abandoned vacant lots. It looked more like an industrial warehouse than a den for a man who bragged about his vast wealth and posted videos of himself piloting private jets and driving fast cars with beautiful women.
The luxury cars that once filled the courtyard, including Rolls-Royces, Porsches, Aston Martins and BMWs, have been seized by Romanian authorities. The only vehicle left is the massive Russian Lada. Not worth picking up.
In the ranking of clean governments, Romania is still well below most other EU member states.Corruption Perception IndexFrom the perspective of Transparency International, only Bulgaria and Hungary rank lower. And Romania, according toState Department's 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report, remains the "main country of origin for sex trafficking" in Europe.
But Romania has made serious efforts in recent years to combat the endemic corruption and widespread lawlessness that has long plagued the country - something that has clearly appealed to Mr. Tate. Prior to his arrest, he said he enjoyed "living in a country where anyone can be corrupt", where anyone can pay a $50 bribe to get away with a speeding ticket.
Eugen Vidineac, a Romanian lawyer who defends Tate, said his client "said a lot of stupid things" but after his arrest he "doesn't think Romania is so corrupt anymore".
Since Tate made Romania her home base around 2016, the country's anti-trafficking agency has expanded its team and launched a billboard, TV and internet campaign warning women to beware of "boy crushes". Tate is accused of using this tactic to lure vulnerable women into his backyard to appear in online sex videos.
The State Department report said that while Romania "has not fully met minimum standards to eliminate human trafficking", "it is making significant efforts to do so".
He cited legal changes, a sharp increase in the number of prosecutions for human trafficking, greater cooperation with other European countries and the creation, in 2021, of a special sex trafficking unit of the Romanian Agency for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism, the agency leading the investigation. Tate.
The office opened 1,246 new human trafficking investigations last year, double the number in 2021.
Monica Bosev, president of the Open Door Foundation, a private organization that runs shelters for women fleeing the sex trade, said Tate "wasn't the only misogynist doing scary things to women on social media." she "misjudged" her belief that anything could happen in Romania.
"We still have big problems to solve, but there have been real improvements and we finally have hope," with the abuse and exploitation of women increasingly being treated as a crime by society and the authorities, Bosseff said.
For Silvia Tabusca, a law professor at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest who has worked with prosecutors on human trafficking cases, Tate's big mistake was not so much misjudging Romania's legal and social climate, despite including a young American, allegedly included a woman among his victims.
Mrs. Tabuska said that without pressure from the United States to investigate Mr. Tate, "I'm not sure Romanian prosecutors would have touched him".
The US Embassy in Bucharest declined to comment on whether US officials were intervening on behalf of US citizens, citing "privacy concerns". The Romanian agency leading the investigation also declined to comment.
Like Tabusca, Tate's lawyers attribute what they say is the Romanian authorities' unexpected enthusiasm for their client to the US intervention, which they say began last year after a young Florida woman became concerned that Tate had kept his daughter in custody. captive and demanded that the State Department do something about it.
The mother's plea brought U.S. authorities to Romania for help and led to a criminal investigation last April -- shortly after the daughter told her mother she was in Romania and living in Tate's compound, lawyers said. Investigators tracked the band, monitored their phone, and tracked their every move and communication online.
The details of what they found remain secret and, according to the lawyers with access to the file, offered no evidence of criminal conduct, only disrespect. "My client's problem," he said, "is his lifestyle. But lifestyle is not a crime. What matters is what is illegal, not what is immoral."
For his part, Mr. Tate gave a typically exaggerated explanation for his arrest. A day after armed police raided his residence, he told his Twitter followers that "The Matrix has sent its agents" and now stands at 6.6 million. "The Matrix" is Tate's umbrella term for the "woke" corporate elite, traditional politicians and feminists who plot to deceive men.
Prosecutors allege that Tate lured women into his residence and then forced them to act as performers on pornographic cameras. The attorney said there was no camera studio at Mr. Tate and his client never forced anyone to live or work there. The Tate brothers were "famous; they were rich; they were young and beautiful," he said, adding, "What good is it to force women into slavery?"
The only people living in the compound were his brothers and his girlfriend, the lawyer said. He acknowledged that some of the women appeared in videos Tate posted, but said they did so voluntarily and hoped it would help them gain a following on social media. "He never took money from the girl," said the lawyer.
The website for one of Tate's companies, an online college that offers "doctoral degrees," is down. The "process" in "Tricks for Chasing Girls" - tells a different story. He boasted that Mr. Tate "owns and operates a strip club and webcam studio" and "has high-quality women living with him and making money full-time".
The program, which costs more than $400 to enroll in, is sold with the promise of teaching students "how to build an army of women so devoted to you that they can get as many girls as you want."
Two women, whom prosecutors described as victims, insisted they had sex with Tate voluntarily and not under coercion. As part of the case, a clinical psychologist's report said they were brainwashed into believing they had a genuine romantic relationship with Mr. Tate.
Boseff, head of the Open Doors Foundation, said most of the 1,200 women who have passed through his group's shelter over the past decade have been arrested by traffickers posing as "boyfriends" and often sexually assaulted. Love and loyalty instead of being forced to work as a prostitute.
She said Tate understands that "everyone wants to be loved, cared for and heard words of encouragement" - needs that can make young women with troubled homes particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
Statistics compiled by anti-trafficking agencies show that 74% of victims are recruited by acquaintances, friends, neighbors or even relatives.
Since his release from house arrest in late March, Tate has reinvented himself as a philanthropist, claiming to have founded dog shelters, rebuilt a Romanian orphanage and worked"To save the world."
A court in Bucharest on Friday extended his house arrest for another month after discrediting the Tate brothers' new promise of good deeds.
"Romania is not as corrupt as Tate imagined and hoped", says Mihaela Dragos,A police officer from the Romanian National Anti-Trafficking Agency.
Delia Marinescu contributed reporting from Bucharest.
Andrew Higgins is the head of the Central and Eastern Europe Bureau based in Warsaw. Previously, he was a reporter and bureau chief for The New York Times in Moscow, where he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2017 and led a team that won the same award in 1999 with The Wall Street Journal Chief of Moscow office.Awards.
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Andrew Tate believes he is above the law. Romania proved him wrong.? ›
Andrew Tate Thought He Was Above the Law. Romania Proved Him Wrong. The online influencer, popular with young men, is facing charges of human trafficking and rape, after seeking out a place where “corruption is accessible to everybody.”What is the allegation against Andrew Tate? ›
Tate was arrested three times in the U.K. on suspicion of sexually assaulting one woman and raping two others—but the case was dropped altogether in 2019. Jury says Hertfordshire Police, the force handling the investigation, didn't take the allegations seriously even though “the evidence was there.”What did Andrew Tate believe in? ›
Tate was raised Christian, and later became an atheist. By early 2022, he identified as a Christian again, and said that he tithed £16,000 to the Romanian Orthodox Church on a monthly basis.What did Andrew Tate do to get rich? ›
Andrew Tate, an ex-kickboxer, entrepreneur, and online personality, has an estimated net worth of $365 million. He earned his wealth through ventures in kickboxing, online courses, and his webcam modeling agency, The Real World. Tate is an enthusiastic investor in startups, cryptocurrencies, and luxury cars.What are the most controversial Andrew Tate things? ›
It is alleged that he and his brother lured women to Romania on the pretence of a romantic relationship and then forced them into carrying out pornographic acts under duress, which were then filmed. All four suspects deny the charges.What did Andrew Tate say about Kylie Jenner? ›
“She might have more money in me, but it wouldn't be a problem because I was still in charge.”What are the most controversial things said by Andrew Tate? ›
19) “I haven't caught depression, I don't have a disease—I'm just upset with my situation.” 20) “'Uh, real men cry and women can cry and men can cry, too, there's nothing wrong with it. ' And there absolutely is something wrong with it. Life as a man is far more difficult than life as a woman.”What does Andrew Tate's mom think of him? ›
"As far as I'm concerned their dad would have respected their business acumen but he wasn't into misogyny or anything like that. He was a nice guy and a hell of a chess player. He was not the big 'I am'.Is Andrew Tate actually a trillionaire? ›
Is Andrew Tate a trillionaire? Despite claiming to be the world's first trillionaire, Tate is nowhere near that milestone. It is estimated that his current net worth is around $50 million, although some sources claim it could be around 300-400 million.How old was Andrew Tate when he got rich? ›
On a Twitch stream with Adin Ross, Tate told the host: 'I don't want to brag, but I'm a trillionaire, world's first. 'I was broke for a long time. I made my first million when I was, say, 27 and then I had 100 million by the time I was 31, and then I became a trillionaire quite recently.
Why is Andrew Tate so popular? ›
He rose to fame on Big Brother, and according to his website, he has four ISKA kickboxing championship victories, and in 2009 he got his first victory. Tate has come up in conversation as the millionaire who has received a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.What is a top G? ›
Top G means "Top Gangster." The abbreviation Top G and term Top Gangster are principally used by misogynistic young men and boys to refer to something or someone they admire.Does Andrew Tate have children? ›
Tate in the interview confirmed that he has around 10–12 kids.What did Andrew Tate do that was so bad? ›
Promoting gendered violence and misogyny on his podcast and posts about relationships (e.g. “It's bang out the machete, boom in her face, and grip her by the neck…”).What good things did Andrew Tate say? ›
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. You've gotta do something and you've gotta do something fast. You just sitting around talking about it and hoping for things to get better isn't going to do anything.”Why is there a scar on Kylie's leg? ›
'When I was about five, my sister [Kendall] and I were playing hide and seek, and I hid inside this really tall, enclosed gate,' she told the publication. 'After a while, when my sister didn't find me, I had to climb up on this sharp pole sticking out from the gate. I slipped, and the pole went into my leg.What was the reason why Kylie wore a white dress? ›
“I was like 'Unless I can go and honor Virgil' and [his wife] Shannon would want me to go and I would wear Off-White, then that's the only reason I would go today,” she said. “To honor him.” She added, “I feel like I was supposed to go with Off-White because Virgil and I talked about this for the last two years.Is Andrew Tate in a relationship? ›
1. Sofiya Guliyeva. Sofiya Guliyeva is a well-known Dubai-based TikTok star. Sofiya Guliyeva is reportedly Andrew Tate's girlfriend at the moment.What did Andrew Tate study? ›
My researches focuses on the intersections between literature, theology and aesthetics. I have two primary historical interests: nineteenth-century writing and its relationship with theological debates and contemporary fiction in relation to the sacred.What are Andrew Tate's arguments? ›
Claiming mental illness makes people 'weak' and that depression 'isn't real'. Promoting gendered violence and misogyny on his podcast and posts about relationships (e.g. “It's bang out the machete, boom in her face, and grip her by the neck…”).
What is the Andrew Tate trend about? ›
He gained popularity through his self-help advice videos, which he calls 'Tate speech', that focus on topics ranging from careers, finances, and personal life to mental health. However, many people have claimed that these videos, largely targeted at a younger male audience, reek of homophobia and misogyny.What does Andrew Tate think of feminism? ›
Through his sexist videos and podcasts, he advocates for a traditional form of masculinity, arguing that men are the protectors, providers and patriarchs, while women are their subservient caretakers.