Andrew Tate: Imprisoned Yet Powerful

Hannah Bentley

Andrew Tate, the 36-year-old former kick boxer and self-proclaimed misogynist, was arrested in December last year for allegations of human trafficking, rape and being part of an organised crime group. Hannah Bentley delves into the investigation and how this has affected his online influence.

Alongside his brother, Tristan, and two other women, Tate is being investigated by Romania’s anti-organised crime agency known as DIICOT. Over £3.2 million worth of assets have been seized from his multiple properties including luxury cars, watches and cash during a search for evidence as part of the investigation. Tate has appealed being held in custody whilst the investigation continues, but this has been denied twice by the Romanian court.

The reason for him moving to Romania is their relaxed laws on sexual assault

So far, six victims have been identified by the police. The women believed they were engaged in serious romantic relationships but were moved to various properties under strict monitoring and forced to produce pornography “through physical violence and mental coercion”. This is very similar to a previous scam run by the brothers where women told fake sob stories via webcam chats to manipulate men into giving them money.

Tate’s arrest has come as no surprise considering his past ‘business’ endeavours and the type of content he produces. The manosphere influencer was first investigated in 2017 after the US embassy in Romania was informed that a young American woman was being held against her will by the two brothers. They were arrested and questioned but released without charges. In a now deleted video, Tate explained part of the reason for him moving to Romania is their relaxed laws on sexual assault, stating: “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free.”

Tate supporters in Athens took to the streets in protest, chanting ‘free top G’

Also, according to a Vice documentary investigating Andrew Tate’s rise to fame, he was arrested by Hertfordshire police in England in 2014 after three women informed the police that he physically abused them and/or raped them. He was in custody for two days and then released with no follow-up to the investigation due to the difficulty of convicting sexual abuse crimes. This was heartbreaking for the women who were brave enough to share their story.

Despite being in police custody, Tate appears to have access to his Twitter account with 4.9 million followers after being allowed back on to the app in 2022 thanks to Elon Musk. Since his arrest he has posted Nelson Mandela quotes and seems to be likening himself to the civil rights activist stating that his ‘case isn’t about the truth. This is about politics’. Many have been rightfully disturbed by his comments, with one Twitter user saying ‘Nelson Mandela fought for the people, you are fighting human trafficking charges. You are not the same.’

Tate and his brother deny any wrongdoing, blaming ‘The Matrix’, the government authorities, for imprisoning him. Using terminology from the popular movie franchise is common within alt-right misogynistic online groups. Tate employs this language in his Hustler’s University programme which has been rebranded, now called ‘The Real World’. Through the teachings of 19 millionaires, he promises subscribers that they will ‘amass wealth’ and ‘escape slavery’.

Tate’s fans have become deeply invested in his ideology and therefore incredibly devoted to him. On the 15th January when his first release appeal was denied, Tate supporters in Athens took to the streets in protest, chanting ‘free top G’ (Tate’s nickname amongst his fans). This shows the pervasive influence he has on young men and boys, chanting for the freedom of a potential human-trafficker.

He has no issue saying extreme, provocative things in order to gain views, followers, and influence

His online rants demonstrate an apathy towards others and a selfish concern for his own success and wellbeing. Tate manages to pair his wealth and hateful views to suggest that this mindset is what made him rich. His attention-seeking behaviour on social media showcasing his lavish style is what initially draws in young boys. Teachers especially are increasingly concerned about the effect his harmful views are having on their students’ thinking and behaviour towards others. One primary school teacher from London explained “It’s the most vulnerable and socially awkward boys that are drawn in and given a sense of belonging”.

Tate’s narcissism and cynicism is deeply troubling- he has no issue saying extreme, provocative things in order to gain views, followers, and influence regardless of whether he believes them or not. But what is more concerning is the number of men and boys that believe Tate’s words and resonate with everything he stands for. It highlights a widespread crisis of masculinity and the lack of critical thinking skills by some for taking one man’s disgruntled world view as gospel.

Hannah Bentley

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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