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Why was Andrew Tate Charged with Sex Trafficking?

By now, most people with a social media account have likely heard of Andrew Tate. He’s the former world champion kickboxer and millionaire influencer who shot to social media infamy in 2022 after videos of his brazen statements about women and masculinity began popping up… basically everywhere.

We wrote an article about Tate in July of 2022 after noticing some deeply troubling themes in his business practices, his tendencies towards violence, his attitudes towards women, and his online pimping course curriculum. Based on what we learned, the statements Tate himself has publicly made, and his garnering the support of millions of young men, we felt compelled to ask the question, “Is Millionaire Kickboxer Andrew Tate Guilty of Sex Trafficking?

Just a few months later, on December 29, 2022, Tate, along with his brother Tristan, and two others, were detained on suspicion of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organized crime group. As of June 20, 2023, Romanian officials have officially brought charges against Tate for rape and sex trafficking. A Romanian judge now has 60 days to inspect the case files before they can be sent to trial.

Given Tate’s extremely large and loyal base of followers, the coverage of the arrests and charges has been divisive, to say the least. Exodus Cry’s Instagram post on Tate garnered passionate responses both in support of him and against him.

So, what are the actual allegations against self-proclaimed pimp, Andrew Tate?

What are the allegations against Andrew Tate?

In April 2022, the Tate brothers were questioned for five hours by police after they were accused of holding an American and Romanian woman inside their villa against their will. The women claimed to have experienced physical violence and coercion while being forced to perform sex acts for the brothers’ webcam business. Andrew and Tristan Tate were later released.

In late December 2022, Romanian police said that they had identified six people who were allegedly sexually exploited by Tristan and Andrew Tate via a webcam sex business. The women were allegedly recruited through false displays of affection and forced to perform pornographic content through physical violence and psychological coercion. This resulted in the two brothers being arrested and detained on December 29 for 30 days.

Leaked Romanian Court Documents

Newly obtained leaked court documents reveal that the victims of Andrew Tate all had TikTok accounts that funneled viewers to their OnlyFans pages. These accounts were allegedly run by two women, Georgiana Naghel and Luana Radu, on behalf of Tate. Naghel and Radu acted as Tate’s enforcers, reportedly beating the women and fining them upwards of $4,000 if they were late or “sniffled on camera.”

The documents state that the victims were forced to produce pornography under duress. And in typical pimping fashion, Naghel, Radu, and the Tate brothers took a majority of the money generated from the accounts.

One victim claims she was forced to earn a minimum of €10,000 ($10,738) a month under the threat of physical violence, stating she worked on a strict schedule, “staying live on TikTok for 12 hours with only a five-minute break.” Another victim says she was not allowed to leave the location unless accompanied.

RELATED: Traffickinghub: A Timeline of Pornhub’s Rapid Decline

Two of the six women are claiming the acts were consensual and have even defended Tate publicly. However, according to the court documents, the Romanian court believes, “these statements do not reflect reality, as… the victims of human trafficking do not always recognize the fact that they have been enslaved and exploited.” The court’s opinion is consistent with what we know to be true from our experience working with survivors. Many trafficking victims don’t immediately identify as such, but often come to that realization later, after being educated about what trafficking really is.

Claims of Sexual Abuse from 2015

Additionally, 3 women approached VICE with evidence against Andrew Tate, stating that they had filed police reports against him in 2015, but that it took four years for the police to pass the case to prosecutors, where it was then thrown out.

Amelia* claims she had been raped and strangled by Tate in 2013. She went to the police but nothing was done until she received a call in 2015 to go over her story. Amelia then provided a video statement to police as well as voice notes and messages from Tate corroborating her account, including one message where Tate writes, “I love raping you.” Her story has been corroborated by several friends.

Another voice note by Tate said, “Am I a bad person? Because the more you didn’t like it, the more I enjoyed it. I f*cking loved how much you hated it. It turned me on. Why am I like that? Why?”

Hertfordshire Police confirmed that Amelia’s complaint led to Tate being arrested on suspicion of rape in December 2015. This was the second time that year he was held, questioned, then released under investigation by police.

A second woman, Sally,* told VICE that she was strangled by Tate at least five times in 2015 while working for Tate’s webcam sex business in Luton, England.

During her time there, she also states that she saw him choke other women on at least 10 other occasions. She states, “he choked me so hard that my blood vessels had literally just burst [in my face].”

Around that same time, Sally claims to have witnessed Tate rape her co-worker, Helen.* Helen published a video on TikTok detailing the abuse in 2022. However, the video was quickly taken down after Tate’s supporters consistently reported the video.

Andrew Tate has denied all of the claims.

It was after these original allegations that the Tate brothers moved to Romania to start a new webcam business. In a video, Andrew Tate joked that 40% of the reason he moved to Romania is because it is easier to get off on rape and sexual assault charges in Eastern European countries. This webcam business is the subject of an organized crime investigation.

How the Tate Brothers Lure Victims: The Lover Boy Method

Tate has previously stated, “I’ve been running a webcam studio for over a decade… Over 50% of my employees were actually my girlfriends at the time… none were in the adult entertainment industry before they met me.”

He says his job was to, “meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her… get her to fall in love with me, to where she’d do anything I say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together.

RELATED: Is Millionaire Kickboxer Andrew Tate Guilty of Sex Trafficking?

One of the 6 victims associated with the Dec. 29 arrest said she was promised marriage to one of the brothers, according to court documents obtained by Gandul.

Prosecutors say the woman was picked up at the airport by a ‘female accomplice’ after landing in Romania. Upon arrival, the woman was told she would live with some girls who work for the brothers. She was then allegedly forced to create pornographic content for Tristan and Andrew Tate.

This form of recruitment is called the loverboy method or the Romeo method.

The loverboy method is a popular tactic in sex trafficking. In its typical form, the trafficker will play the part of a boyfriend to get her to fall in love with him. He usually treats her extremely well at first, sparing no expense. Once this happens, he can coerce her more easily into entering the sex industry in some form. With social media, the process of recruitment is becoming an easier feat for traffickers and pimps.

Andrew Tate, in his own words, has admitted to using the loverboy method to recruit women for porn.

It’s also very important to recognize that, more often than not, trafficking doesn’t involve being kidnapped and locked in a room.

Whenever force, fraud, or coercion is used to produce a commercial sex act (including webcamming, OnlyFans, etc), this is sex trafficking. Sometimes it involves the use of physical force, but the more subtle or psychological ways of controlling people also constitute trafficking.

You can learn more about this tactic in our sex trafficking documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls (available for free on YouTube) which features interviews of trafficking survivors who were recruited this way.

Men and Young Boys Defend Andrew Tate, Some Even ‘Worship’ Him

Tate’s extremely loyal fanbase is made up of predominantly men from all around the world, including boys as young as 13. Their continued support, despite his views towards women and now his being charged with very serious crimes, points to a void in our culture of role models for healthy masculinity for young men. And it points to the dangerous trajectory of a porn-saturated society.

His followers were initially recruited through his online program and multi-level marketing scheme, known as ‘Hustler’s University’ which promises to teach his millions of young followers “the secrets to modern wealth creation.” A Buzzfeed News investigation found that the site’s server contained more than 200,000 users. One of his courses is called the “Pimpin’ Hoes Degree,” which instructs men on replicating his webcam business and recruiting women.

Tate built his social media empire by promoting a narrative of “alpha masculinity” to an audience of men and teenage boys. While his messaging often uses empowering and challenging language for men, it presents an abusive and distorted perspective of women. It seems to come from the belief system that for men to be strong and empowered, women must be “kept in their place” and dominated—and the idea that any means by which a man can make a woman submit is acceptable, including violence.

Below are a few choice examples of some of the language Tate uses:

  • Tate has said he needs authority over women and has discussed hitting women on several occasions.
  • He claimed that rape victims must “bear some responsibility” for being raped.
  • How can your [webcam] girl leave you if you own all of her accounts? If you have all the login credentials? Forced pimping.
  • He told young aspiring fighters to “dump their girlfriends,” stating, “Why would you be with a woman who’s not a virgin anyway?… If you knew the things I do to girls and how their boyfriends ‘love’ them afterwards, you’d laugh… She is used goods. Second hand.”
  • He asserts that 18-year-olds are more attractive than women in their 20s because “they’ve been through less d*ck.
  • He says he doesn’t let his girlfriends go to the bar because that would be like “parking your car in a place where it can get stolen.
  • He sees women, specifically his girlfriends, as monetary assets he could exploit – “I could open a strip club, but that takes money and I need overhead, I need money. How can I use these women to make me money?
  • I’m not a rapist but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want.”

Data obtained by The Independent found that 1 in 4 young men in the United Kingdom agrees with Andrew Tate’s stance towards women. One student in the UK told his teacher he would still admire Tate even if he was found guilty of sex trafficking.

Insider Magazine spoke to several teachers about Tate’s influence among young boys across the country. One teacher, Allie Chmielewski, a human-trafficking survivor, and educator in Kentucky, recalls a teen boy saying, “We’re gonna just smash them down to the ground, destroy all of their confidence. We’re the men, so you’re gonna cook and you’re gonna clean and you’re gonna do this.” She said, “It’s the same mindset my grandpa had — that women take care of us, but we’re gonna control you.

RELATED: Is There a Connection Between Porn and Rape?

Another teacher in South Carolina says that “students see Tate as the epitome of masculine energy and talk about him as if he’s a god.

The availability of violent porn has had an incredible influence in the last twenty years as access to graphic and hardcore content has become ubiquitous. Many boys are growing up with this kind of porn as their main form of sex education, shaping dangerous attitudes toward girls and women.

Porn has also likely played a massive role in Andrew Tate’s own perception of women, especially as women who love and desire the sexual violence done to them.

To find out more about how porn is influencing children and teens, check out our newest book, Raised on Porn.

Join the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation

Is Andrew Tate guilty of sex trafficking? That’s for the courts to decide. Of his own admission, Tate would recruit girls by pretending to be romantically interested, with the ultimate goal of selling virtual access to their bodies online.

Regardless, his case demonstrates how vital it is to educate people about what constitutes sex trafficking. If force, fraud, or coercion are used to produce a commercial sex act this is, by legal definition, sex trafficking.

The more people understand this, the more we can collectively fight back against this sly injustice that is creeping into the impressionable minds of children everywhere, under the guise of empowerment.

Want to learn the truth about sex trafficking?

1. Watch our short animated video, The Key to Ending Sex Trafficking.
2. Watch our award-winning documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls for free on YouTube. This hard-hitting film exposes the trafficking nightmare experienced by millions around the world and captures the triumphant testimonies of survivors in order to galvanize hope.

Fuel the fight against trafficking and sexual exploitation.


*Names changed to protect their identity

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