TikTok influencer Andrew Tate stays in Romanian jail

BUCHAREST, 11 Jan 2023:

Controversial influencer and self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate yesterday failed in his appeal to be released from pre-trial detention – following his arrest in Romania last month on suspicion of rape, human trafficking and forming an organised crime group.

The TikTok personality appeared at an appeals court in Bucharest alongside three co-defendants – his brother Tristan Tate, who is facing the same charges, and two women of Romanian nationality.

Born in the US and raised in the UK, the Tate brothers have dual citizenship.

All four were appealing authorities’ decision to extend the period of preventative custody to 30 days.

Romania’s organised crime bureau, DIICOT, arrested the suspects on Dec 29 during a raid on a property in Bucharest. Video footage of the raid published by the agency showed officers inspecting wads of cash, guns and a fleet of luxury cars.

Tate, a former champion kickboxer, and his brother have been accused of coercing women into performing paid pornography online.

DIICOT believes the pair lured their victims with false promises of a romantic relationship.

The agency said it has identified six victims so far. It accuses the Tate brothers of forming an organised crime group with a view to committing crimes in Romania – where Andrew moved in 2017 – as well as the UK and the US.

One of the suspects is also charged with rape.

Having made brief appearances on British reality TV, Tate’s celebrity status rocketed in recent years amid a burgeoning following on social media, in particular TikTok, where he garnered attention for his openly misogynistic views.

His so-called Hustler’s University programme – a monthly subscription platform that claims to offer over 100,000 students skills on cryptocurrency and business ventures – also drew attention amid claims from critics that he was running a pyramid scheme.

From 2021, Tate was deplatformed from a string of social media sites for violating their policies. His profile was reinstated to Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover of the company.

One day before his arrest, Tate interacted with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, whose dismissive reply went on to be one of the most liked tweets of all time.

Formerly a member of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Tate said a few months ago that he converted to Islam and he arrived in court yesterday carrying a copy of the Quran.