Julia Hartley-Brewer defends controversial Greta Thunberg comments amid Andrew Tate row

Andrew Tate responds to Greta Thunberg's comments about him

Julia Hartley-Brewer has defended her controversial comments on Greta Thunberg amid the row with Andrew Tate.

The journalist previously came under fire after being accused of “mocking” Thunberg’s autism following the teenage climate activist’s public spat with Tate.

If you missed it, Tate was owned by Thunberg after bragging about his 33 cars - in a post which was uploaded a few days before he was arrested on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.

At the time, Tate asked for Thunberg’s email address to send “a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions”, the campaigner responded by telling him to send her an email at “small d*** energy [at] get a life [dot] com”.

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Hartley-Brewer then attracted controversy after chipping in with a message of her own, quote tweeting Thunberg’s putdown and adding: “’I’d choose Andrew Tate’s life *every single time* over the life of a half-educated, autistic, doom-mongering eco-cultist. And the only car I own is a diesel Tiguan.”

Hartley-Brewer’s decision to make a comment about Thunberg’s autism with her insults was widely condemned online, and she later went on to take down the post in favour of a reworded version with the word “autistic” removed.

She said at the time: “I’ve deleted my previous tweet that mentioned Greta’s autism because – although I only referred to it because she states it in her own Twitter biog – people decided to take offence at a fact. Even though they had no problem with this woman calling a man ‘small d***’. Yawn.”

Now, she’s defended herself against accusations that she was siding with Tate over Thunberg.

Speaking on TalkTV, she said: “Lots of tweets saying I should be sacked but what I loved was people saying, ‘You’re taking the side of your hero Andrew Tate.’

“Um, A) a man I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted about, ever spoken about on air. Of course, I’ve heard of him, I didn’t know the full horrors of the things he was … because I don’t take any interest … he’s just a sort of malign sort of influencer figure, I don’t have any interest in Kim Kardashian, either and he’s a nasty piece of work.”

She went on to say: “Do I think that women should go anywhere near him? No, I think he’s horrible – I don’t have any interest in him, though.

“But I thought Greta’s response to him was really tacky and I thought rather beneath her. And again, what’s funny is that, [indecipherable] ‘why did you, why did you say autistic?’”

Hartley-Brewer added: “I said, ‘well actually I deleted that because I realised it was being taken … and I genuinely did not mean … I don’t think saying someone’s autistic, if you’re genuinely autistic, if you’re saying someone who’s not autistic is autistic and using it as an insult then that is, that is being derogatory and [indecipherable] offensive.”

The added: “She is autistic, she’s proudly autistic, she’s talked about it being her gift and being indeed her superpower and indeed it was her mental health problems as well as being autistic as she was later diagnosed, which her parents sort of felt her eco-fanaticism and these school strikes and the like, was her route out of, you know she had these sort of, she had an eating disorder, she was a selective mute.

"She had many, many, many issues. I mean really, really, very troubled little girl as she was then. She’s now a young woman at the age of 19 and so she uses the word autistic as the first describer of herself in her [Twitter] biog, proudly.

“So I, I genuinely … I mean genuinely, you’ve met me, if I had a history of using this as an insult … It would be all over Twitter, I’d have done it a million times. I don’t because I don’t do things like that. But I realised it was, ‘ah look, it’s been taken the wrong way, I can see how it has been, so I deleted it.”

Hartley-Brewer finished by saying: “But then you have people saying ‘why did you delete it’ even though I’d flagged up that I’d deleted this tweet I wasn’t trying to hide it. But if I hadn’t deleted it, people would’ve said should delete it. You’re in this no-win situation aren’t you?”

Tate is a 36-year-old former kickboxer and online personality notorious for his misogynistic views and far-right views.

He was detained in Romania on Thursday 29 December on suspicion of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organised crime group, prosecutors said. Tate and his brother – who have reportedly been under investigation since April – will be detained for 30 days.

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