Who is Andrew Tate and why has he been arrested?

Andrew Tate arrested by Romanian police over human trafficking and rape charges

The former kickboxer and controversial influencer Andrew Tate has been arrested in Romania, along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian suspects as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Tate, who was reportedly wanted for questioning by Romanian authorities since April had posted a response video to climate activist Greta Thunberg, following their viral spat earlier this week where he had two takeaway pizza boxes with him, featuring the address of a Bucharest restaurant leading to speculation that he had given away his location to the police.

In response to the arrest, Tate wrote on Twitter: "The Matrix sent their agents." Meanwhile a spokesperson for the 36-year-old told the Mirror: "We cannot provide any details at the moment regarding alleged reports that they have been detained; however, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can"

But who is Andrew 'Cobra' Tate and why has he suddenly gone viral?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Andrew Tate?

Andrew Tate/Instagram

Tate, 35, is a former professional kickboxer, entrepreneur and content creator, who runs an online course in “modern wealth creation” at his own “Hustlers University”, which he founded.

Speaking about his personal wealth, he recently said in an interview: "I was broke for a long time. I made my first million when I was say 27 and then I had a 100 million by the time I was 31,32 and then I became a trillionaire quite recently."

There are no trillionaires on the planet (according to Forbes, Elon Musk is worth $250 billion) so that might be wishful thinking on Tate’s behalf. However, Essential Sports estimates that his net worth to be around $30 million.

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He enjoyed a pretty successful kickboxing career, winning world titles in two different weight divisions.

He first came to prominence outside of the sport while appearing on the 2016 season of Big Brother in the UK, which ended in controversial circumstances.

What have been Tate's previous controversies?

Tate gained notoriety at the time after he was evicted from the series after a video surfaced online appearing to show him beating a woman with a belt. Speaking at the time, Tate claimed that it was part of role play to which the woman in the video had consented. He also said he was using a felt belt.

In a statement made to his Facebook, he said: ”They cut out all the sound cause she’s LAUGHING in the video. And they cut off the end of the video where she gets the belt and hits me back while we’re both laughing. What bullsh**t. It was 2012 and we were having a laugh.”

He later attracted criticism following comments surrounding rape which he made following the #MeToo movement.

As the Metro reported, he tweeted at the time: “Sexual harassment is disgusting and inexcusable. However, a man looking at you or whistling at you or asking your name isn’t harassment.”

He added: “Women have been exchanging sex for opportunity for a very long time. Some did this. Weren’t abused. […] If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bare some responsibility.”

When being investigated by UK police on abuse charges, Tate is understood to have relocated to Romania. In a video that he released around the time, he reportedly said that "probably 40 per cent of the reason" to move there was that it was easier to avoid rape charges. He added: "I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free."

His Twitter account was suspended in 2017, and the tweets were later removed from Twitter. But earlier this year, Twitter verified the account of the infamous kickboxer, which it had already banned, as the social media company appeared to ignore its own rules.

Tate initially declined to comment further than disavowing two other accounts - @iron_mentality and @of_wudan - that appeared to be associated with him contacted by The Independent.

However, following the publication of an article in The Independent, he said: “I don’t agree with being banned, people get banned from Twitter all the time and make new profiles. I’m not inciting violence, promoting terrorism or harassing anyone. This is censorship of free speech. I’ve never had specific tweets banned or been cautioned.”

MORE: Tate thinks you're a 'weak' man if you live with a woman

MORE: The most controversial Cobra Tate moments we can actually talk about

Why has he suddenly gone viral?

There isn’t one viral moment or individual clip to pinpoint his rise to viral fame, but rather it seems like part of a larger concerted effort to get his name and face out there.

However, one comment which did bring a great deal of attention was his decision to call out Jake Paul for a fight. He claims he previously offered Paul £2.5million to take him on in 2020.

"I don't dislike him, I understand him but I want to make something clear, I would still kick the living f*** out of Jake Paul," he told The Fellas podcast.

"I'm not some washed-up UFC fighter and I'm not smaller than him, I would beat the living s*** out of him and if he wants to fight I'll fight him any day of the f****ng week. He's very smart with his 'I'm just a YouTuber angle'.”

He added: "You're a full grown man with the best coaches in the world who has dedicated years to learning how to box. The guy's not a jack*** and the fact he puts this spin on it is very smart.

"I offered him $3million at the time, I don't think it's about money for him I think it's about credibility and fame. Him fighting me is a massive risk for him, he knows that. I'd love to kick the f*** out of the guy because I love to fight, that's the difference between me and everyone else he's fought," Tate continued.

"I'm not some desperate guy at the end of his career who needs the money. I would dedicate my life [to training], treat him like a professional and I would destroy him like I've destroyed all of the professionals I have ever fought."

Paul was asked about the possibility of fighting Tate in a press conference recently, and he replied: "I don't know who that is."

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