(In)famous Influencer Andrew Tate Indicted in Romania on Trafficking and Rape Charges
Unless you've been living under a rock (or with no internet connection) for the past few years — you probably have heard of Andrew Tate. The American-born British national is loathed by many who accuse him of being a dangerous misogynist. But he's loved and respected by others, who consider him a role model. These fans of his cite his much-maligned masculinity and a return to traditional values. He has also gained a new group of supporters following his recent conversion to Islam. Tate was recently banned from social media for his provocative opinions and statements.
Tate: From Kickboxer to Hustler
Whatever you think about Tate and his controversial views, he has amassed an impressive amount of money quickly. At the start of Tate's career, he was a four-time kickboxing champion, and even appeared in the British version of the reality TV show Big Brother in 2016.
He later got rich by starting up some interesting—and successful—business endeavors. First, he launched a webcam business. Later, he established what he calls "Hustlers University," where he teaches alternative methods of wealth creation and business acumen.
Tate refers to himself as "Top G," and perhaps with good reason. His net worth is now estimated at $365 million, with a luxury car collection worth over $7 million. Days before police raided his home in Romania last winter, Tate had entered into an argument on Twitter with Greta Thunberg, where he boasted of having 33 cars, including his famous Bugatti collection, along with several Ferraris, a Rolls Royce, and an Aston Martin. In fact, police in Bucharest seized 11 luxury vehicles from the cigar-puffing influencer's home earlier this year. Among them was a $2.9 million Bugatti.
The Case Against the 'Top G'
On Tuesday, June 20, the "Top G" was charged by Romanian prosecutors with human trafficking, rape, and forming a gang to sexually exploit women. His brother Tristan (also a former kickboxing champion) and a couple of associates (two Romanian women, Luana Radu and Georgiana Nagel) also face charges. All have denied the allegations.
The Tate brothers were arrested in Romania last December, on suspicion of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organized crime group. Under Romanian law, criminal suspects can be held for 180 days without being formally indicted. The famous brothers were jailed before being moved to house arrest in March 2023. The Bucharest indictment says that the four defendants formed an organized criminal group in 2021 to commit human trafficking in Romania and other countries, including the U.S. and the UK.
Andrew Tate will remain under house arrest for another 30 days from the end of June pending further investigation on the human trafficking charge, as the Romanian court ruled. Trafficking of adults and rape are charges that each have a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Prosecutors are also investigating the four defendants on allegations of money laundering, witness tampering, and trafficking of both adults and children.
What Happens Next for Tate and Friends?
A trial will not begin immediately, and a judge will have up to 60 days to assess the file. Andrew Tate suggests that he expects charges to be brought against him in the UK.
But Tate asserts his innocence, arguing, "[w]e're not the first affluent, wealthy men who have been unfairly attacked." He attributed the charges to part of a broader conspiracy against him being carried out by the "Matrix" (a term he uses to refer to the power establishment).
Tate has further said he's setting up a $100 million charity in his will for falsely accused men. This should appeal to his followers, who see him as a champion against a systemized attack to weaken men and subjugate society. But on the other hand, earlier this month, a fourth British woman claimed she was a victim of sexual assault by the influencer, alleging that he choked her until she lost consciousness.
Regardless of what you think about Andrew Tate's persona and views or how offensive some of his rhetoric might be to certain social sectors, he, like everyone, deserves a fair trial. Romania and the UK are bound to following European human rights law through the European Convention on Human Rights. This law protects not only the expression of uncontroversial opinions but also those that "offend, shock, or disturb." It remains to be seen whether there is enough evidence to convict him, his brother, or the other two alleged accomplices.
- Human Trafficking and Slavery(FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Facebook 'Hate Speech': Is It Free Speech? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life blog)
- When Can the Government Regulate Free Speech?(FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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