British-American influencer Andrew Tate made headlines toward the end of 2022 following an incident involving himself and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested in Romania on charges related to his alleged involvement in organized crime, human trafficking, and rape, according to Voa News.
The influencer was initially detained after he released a video of himself responding to Thunberg that had a pizza box in the frame. At the time, people speculated that the pizza box, which was from Romanian pizza chain Jerry’s Pizza, had tipped off Romanian authorities as to Tate’s whereabouts. This has since been denied by the DIICOT spokesperson (via News 18).
However, with all the hubbub around Andrew Tate and his arrest, the main question for most people — who don’t track online influencers and personalities like Tate — is “Who is Andrew Tate?“. So here’s a quick recap of the viral Thunberg-Tate Twitter Beef, who Andrew Tate is, why he ended up getting arrested in Romania, as well as how his legal battle in the Romanian court is going as of the date of this article’s writing (January 13, 2023).
Recap: Andrew Tate and Greta Thunberg’s Twitter Beef
On December 27, 2022, influencer Andrew Tate — who goes by @Cobratate on Twitter — sent out a Tweet that mentioned climate activist Greta Thunberg. The Tweet directly addressed her and stated Tate’s ownership of 33 cars as well as the engine details of three of his cars, a Bugatti and two Ferraris. Towards the end, he invites Thunberg to send him her email address so that he can tell her about his vehicles “enormous emissions”.
The following day, Thunberg replied saying, “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at email@example.com“. The Tweet went viral shortly thereafter. Greta Thunberg, who is releasing a book on February 14 this year, is known for her campaign against carbon emissions and her 2019 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-carbon yacht.
Tate responded to Thunberg’s reply with a clip of himself in a bathrobe, smoking a cigar, while sitting in front of Jerry’s Pizza boxes. He was later arrested in Romania together with his younger brother Tristan Tate, according to Independent.
Who Was Andrew Tate Before He Became an Influencer?
Before he rose to popularity in online circles as an influencer, Andrew Tate, whose full name is Emory Andrew Tate III, was a kickboxer who fought in the cruiserweight and super cruiserweight divisions (via Sidekick Boxing). He is the third “Andrew Tate” in his family following his grandfather Emory A. Tate, Esq, and his father, chess player Emory Andew Tate Jr.. Andrew Tate is the eldest of the Tate siblings with the middle child being Tristan Tate, according to Mirror, and the youngest being Janine Tate, who works as a lawyer and is estranged from both of her brothers, according to Tuko.
Tate was born in Washington DC, as per Express, and lived in Chicago during his childhood before eventually settling in his mother’s hometown of Luton in Bedfordshire, England following his parents’ divorce. As a child, he played competitive chess before eventually switching to kickboxing where he made his name in 2005 around the age of 20.
How Did Andrew Tate Get Rich?: The Tate Brand, Hustler’s University, and “The Real World”
Tate, who is currently 26 years old, has previously stated he was worth roughly $100 million, according to the Daily Mail UK. Tate apparently made a notable portion of his wealth through cryptocurrency trading, a car dealership, and a car leasing and events company. His wealth and fame have allowed him to sell courses on how to get rich and achieve financial success as he did.
What's So Bad About Andrew Tate?: A Brief History of Why So Many People Dislike Him
2022 Wrapped: A Look Back on the Year's Major News Highlights
Charles Hoate explains that Hustler’s University is a membership program established in 2021 by Andrew Tate. The Hustler’s program promised to teach members how to start an online business and make money online within a few days of signing up. The membership was reported to have been $50 a month for Hustler’s University 2.0 (the program website currently states that it is in its 3.0 iteration).
Hoate shared that the initial version of the program was filled with “basic business and financial errors”, though he does not specify which and what errors these were, instead jumping ahead to 2.0. Hoate’s review of Hustler’s University 2.0 explained that the course had terrible audio quality and mostly shared “emotional mantras” about summoning your inner beast.
The program appears to operate mostly on Discord, both according to the review by Hoate and screenshots from the current Hustler’s University website. Hoate claims that Tate’s Discord server had channels dedicated to typical online money-making skills, investments, and businesses, such as copywriting, e-commerce, crypto, stocks, affiliate marketing, and general freelancing tips.
Apparently, Tate is not the only one who teaches for Hustler’s University. Hoate claims that he is personally in touch with members of the War Room, Andrew Tate’s exclusive Telegram group which carries a $5,000 membership price tag. War Room is a networking community where Tate gets his teachers for Hustler’s University.
Tate also started another mentoring program called “The Real World” on November 14, 2022 which, according to the European Business Review, worked on these same general principles as Hustler’s University. The Real World operated out of Telegram, much like the War Room, and offered exclusive mentorship under Tate that promised to help members break free, or in the language of the program “escaping the matrix”, from a 9 to 5 job. The program included lessons on how to make passive income and had a membership fee of $149/month.
How Did Andrew Tate Become (In)famous?
Tate’s reputation is a mixed bag. While fans of the influencer see him as someone who provides much-needed guidance on how to start your empire, the influencer also has detractors due to his views. The BBC reports that the influencer previously claimed to be a misogynist.
“Absolutely a misogynist.” Andrew Tate said in an interview with another Youtuber, “There’s no way you can be rooted in reality and not be sexist.” Tate also stated that women are lazy by nature. His statements led to a series of bans on social media platforms including TikTok and Twitter, the latter being due to his statement on how women should be responsible for their sexual assault. Of course, he was unbanned from the platform, which is how he ended up beefing with Greta Thunberg a while back.
Where Is Andrew Tate Now?
Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate were arrested last year in a suburb just outside of Bucharest as part of investigations into their alleged involvement in human trafficking and rape. Tate’s spokesperson provided a statement to the Daily Mirror saying that the brothers are cooperating with the Romanian authorities.
But what are the allegations against Andrew Tate exactly? According to police sources who spoke to The Times of London (via New York Post), Andrew Tate was arrested as part of a “sex-trafficking gang operation” that tattooed women with “owned by Tate” tattoos, echoing Tate’s previous statements with Barstool Sports about how women belong to the men they are in relationships with and thus owe them part of any money made from sex work-related activities.
According to Boss Networth, Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate operate an OnlyFans agency that employed as many as 75 women across four countries and earned Andrew Tate $600,000 a month at its peak of operations.
“At the height of my webcam pimping, I think I’m king of the world. I’d type for maybe 16 hours a day but pull in $4,000 a day. That became my new life, I went from a kickboxer to a pretend girl on the internet.” Tate had shared with James English, “That was the beginning of the cam empire.”
Forbes reports that Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate have already challenged their 30-day detention last December 30, but the judge presiding over the case has upheld the detention, according to The Verge, saying that, “The possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored. …[they could] leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”
A woman who accused Tate of raping her in 2013 has recently shared texts from Tate with Vice in which Andrew Tate tells her, “I love raping you. …Monsters are monsters. When ur under my control, I do whatever I please.”
Andrew Tate is presumed to still be detained in Romania based on recent reports as of when this article was written.