Sex, lies and video cams: Andrew Tate turned women into slaves, prosecutors say

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BUCHAREST, Feb 2 (Reuters) – A woman from Moldova thought it was love. Internet celebrity Andrew Tate has offered her a new life. They were also discussing marriage. All he asked for was absolute loyalty.

“You must understand that once you are mine, you will be mine forever,” Tate said on February 4 last year, after dozens of women were trafficked and sexually exploited. told her in one of dozens of WhatsApp messages cited by a Romanian prosecutor who claimed to have done so.

Tate, an influencer with millions of online followers, encouraged a Moldovan woman to join him in Romania. I reassured him, “But you must be by my side.

The following month, Romanian prosecutors say Tate raped a woman twice in the country while trying to get her to participate in a human trafficking operation focused on making pornography on the online platform OnlyFans. .

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The allegations and messages, contained in unpublished court documents dated Dec. 30 and confirmed by Reuters, allegedly involved former kickboxing world champion Tate and his brother Tristan in illegal business. depicts the most detailed situation of

They came to light on December 29 after the brothers were arrested on charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

Andrew Tate, 36, a British-American based primarily in Romania since 2017, and his 34-year-old brother deny all allegations against them. They could not be reached for comment.

In response to questions, their attorney, Eugen Vidineac, said they could not publicly confirm or deny information about the case while the investigation was ongoing. said.

Reuters has retranslated the WhatsApp conversations with the Moldovan woman into their native English, although they appear in Romanian in the court documents. Although accurate, the translation of the Romanian version provided by the prosecutor may not be identical to the original wording.

The brothers used deception and intimidation to take control of six women and “turn them into slaves,” prosecutors said in a statement.His 61-page file, prepared by court officials in Bucharest, states that the judge Extended Tates’ detention In addition, the evidence presented by the prosecution.

According to court documents, Attorney Bidinak said the brother’s victims were not abused but “lived under the auspices of the famous Tates.” “I never forced you to do any of these things,” he added.

In the document, Vidinak admitted that Andrew Tate had sex with a Moldovan woman, but that it was consensual and accused her of fabricating the rape allegations.

Reuters was unable to independently corroborate the version of the case provided by prosecutors or defense attorneys, and was unable to reach the six women named in the documents for comment. , does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes unless they choose to publish their names.

Two of the women told Romanian TV station Antena3 on January 11 that they were not victims and that the Tates were innocent. The station identified them only by the names Beatrice and Iasmina.

“If you say I’m not a victim, you can’t list me as a victim,” Beatrice told the station. Is not …

Only Fun: We Watched Tate

The allegations facing Tate focus on a self-proclaimed misogynist who has built an online fan base, especially among younger men, by promoting his extravagant, ultra-macho image of driving fast cars and dating beautiful women. is guessing.

According to Google analysis, he was the eighth most Googled person in the world in 2022, only behind figures such as Johnny Depp, Will Smith and Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors said Tates had control of the victim’s OnlyFans account and earnings that amounted to tens of thousands of euros, highlighting the concerns of some human rights groups about the potential exploitation of women on such platforms. ing.

Reuters was unable to verify the existence of the alleged victim’s OnlyFans account.

UK-based OnlyFans has 150 million users, and while much of its content is erotic or pornographic, it also pays varying amounts of monthly fees to ‘creators’ in areas such as fitness training and music. I’m here.

The company, which has 1.5 million creators earning hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars a month, says on its website that it is the “most secure digital media platform.” Founded in 2016, it has grown rapidly during the COVID-19 lockdown.

A spokesperson for OnlyFans told Reuters that Andrew Tate “never had” a creator account or received payment. They said that OnlyFans has been monitoring him since early 2022 and is “aggressively” trying to stop him from posting or monetizing content without detailing the reasons for the scrutiny or the actions taken. It said it has taken “significant measures”.

A spokesperson added that the creators as a whole underwent extensive background checks and that all content was reviewed by the platform, which works closely with law enforcement. declined to comment.

how to be loved by a woman

Andrew Tate’s image has been stoked by a series of controversial comments. He compared women to dogs and said dogs were to blame for being raped. His remarks got him banned from Facebook, Instagram, and other major social media platforms for him last year.

A spokesperson for Meta said Tate was banned from Facebook in August 2022 for violating policies banning “gender-based hate, threats of sexual violence, or threats of sharing non-consensual intimate images.” said he was banned from the Instagram platform.

In a podcast in 2021, Tate said he started a webcam business in the UK, earning $600,000 a month with 75 women working for him. He didn’t elaborate on what the woman did on the podcast.

Until last month, his website offered a course costing over $400 that promised to teach you “every step in making a girl who is obedient, loyal, and loves you.”

“That’s my skill, getting women to fall in love with me very efficiently,” he said on his website. A page about the course, reviewed by Reuters, was removed in January.

In another YouTube video aimed at men who want to make money by putting women on OnlyFans, Tate called the platform “the world’s biggest hound”.

In court documents, lawyer Vidinak said Tate’s online persona was a “virtual character” built to gain followers and make money, and “has nothing to do with real men.” said.

Tate’s Twitter account revived in November, a month after billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform, pleading his innocence to his 4.8 million followers. The Jan. 15 post said, “They arrested me to ‘search’ for evidence…you won’t find it because it doesn’t exist.”

American woman: “I’m so afraid”

Tate first met the Moldovan woman on Instagram in January 2022, then met in person in London the following month, and by March she was in Romania, prosecutors said in court documents.

Authorities mobilized the brothers on April 11 when police raided one of their properties in Bucharest on suspicion that an American woman was being held against her will.

According to prosecutors, one of the six alleged victims, an American woman, met Tristan Tate online in November 2021 and in person in Miami the following month. said he could lure her to Romania by expressing “false feelings” for her, promising a serious relationship, paying for her plane tickets and helping her earn “100K a month” on OnlyFans. .

Tristan Tate picked her up at Bucharest airport in a Rolls-Royce on April 5, 2022 and took her back to his home with two armed guards, court documents say.

He told her she wasn’t a prisoner, but added that the guards said he couldn’t let her out without his permission. is dangerous, he said.

There were cameras all over the house that were monitored remotely by Tristan Tate, prosecutors said in a document. I said I could, they said.

When she moved into another house with four of Andrew Tate’s “girlfriends,” she was only allowed out if she was with other women.

In the documents, Tate’s attorney said the American woman had a cell phone and internet access and had the freedom to leave home as she pleased.

The woman has not spoken publicly about the Tates family or the prosecutor’s allegations.

Romanian prosecutors said on January 15, as part of an investigation into the suspect, seized assets It’s worth almost $4 million, including a fleet of luxury cars from Andrew Tate’s estate on the outskirts of Bucharest.

“Sexually Exploitative Content”

The Tates’ detention was extended until February 27, along with two Romanian women accused of working for them. was denied in court on Wednesday. A judge can order detention for up to 180 days while an investigation is ongoing. That means it could be extended until late June.

Georgiana Nagel and Luana Radu, suspected accomplices, manage six victims’ OnlyFans and TikTok accounts on behalf of the Tates family, skimming half of the proceeds to women who are late or smell the cameras. fined.

According to court documents, the two threatened to beat the woman if she didn’t do her job.

Naghel and Radu deny all allegations against them. Lawyers for Vidineac and Radu, who also represent Naghel, said they could not comment on the matter.

According to prosecutors, Tates’ manipulation led to the registration of women on TikTok and increased traffic to OnlyFans. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the existence of her TikTok account in question.

TikTok said in a statement that Andrew Tate was banned from the platform and was taking action against videos and accounts associated with him that violated its ban on “sexually exploitative content.”

The company declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation into Romania.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie, Octav Ganea and Andrew RC Marshall. Edited by Jason Szep and Pravin Char

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

thomson Reuters

General news reporter based in Bucharest. It covers a wide range of Romanian topics, from elections and the economy to climate change and festivals.

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