A Twitter spat that misogynist social media personality Andrew Tate started with 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg over his masculinity this week ended when he and his brother, Tristan, were detained in connection to human trafficking and rape charges in Romania on Thursday, according to local media and police.
Tate taunted Thunberg on Twitter about the carbon emissions of his 33 cars, to which Thunberg replied with a joke about “small dick energy” that became one of the most liked tweets of all time. Tate then posted a humiliating 2-minute video of himself smoking a cigar in a robe and insisting that he was not at all owned by the teenager. Though some speculated authorities were tipped off to his whereabouts due to the pizza boxes he prominently featured in the video, a Romanian official on Friday told the Associated Press the claims were “funny” but denied that the pizza gave him away.
Police raided his villa and detained the Tate brothers on suspicions of sex trafficking. Semafor reported that the suspects “allegedly used a ‘loverboy method’ to lure victims into marriages and then sexually and mentally abused them to perform in exploitative videos, authorities said.”
Jezebel reported in August that educators are concerned that Tate’s views are worming their way into young boys’ minds. Rodlyn-mae Banting described him thusly:
The 35-year-old British-American schemer and self-described misogynist (you read that right) is a former professional boxer who appeared on the 2016 season of Big Brother, before he was kicked off after a video surfaced of him hitting a woman with a belt. (He and the woman later said the interaction was consensual, not abusive.) Over the last six years, he’s amassed 11.6 billion TikTok views, 4.7 million Instagram followers, and multiple appearances on vlogs and podcasts, giving him horrific reach for his content.
His greatest hits include the following: saying women shouldn’t drive, comparing women to dogs, viewing his girlfriends as monetary assets, and claiming women should “bear responsibility” for being raped. In early August, the Guardian reported that Tate is being investigated on human trafficking (which he has denied) and rape allegations in Romania, where he lives in a mansion with his brother. In April, the home was raided by police in search of an American woman allegedly held against her will. Income wise? Tate ran Hustler’s University 2.0 (upgraded to Hustler’s University 3.0 on Monday), a “modern wealth creation” course that promises its more than 100,000 users, many of whom are young men, hacks on how to make $10,000 a month, per the Guardian...all for the low price of $49.99 a month.
On Friday, Thunberg archly commented on the situation:
This story has been updated with additional information about Tate’s arrest, and Thunberg’s Friday tweet.