Due to his presence on social media apps Twitter and TikTok, you’re likely to have heard of the name Andrew Tate – and perhaps for the wrong reasons.
One the TikTok’s most viewed creators, the former Big Brother contestant has gone viral on the site this year, with has hundreds of ‘fan sites’ dedicated to him.
The content of his controversial videos have left charities which look to end male violence against women, such as White Ribbon, to demand his videos are taken down, arguing that his videos depict “extreme misogyny” and will leave a lasting impact on younger viewers.
Despite this, the 36-year-old former kickboxer has risen from obscurity to global fame over the past few months, becoming one of the most successful figures on TikTok, where videos of him have been watched 11.6 billion times.
And now he has courted further controversy after beginning a war of words with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, before being arrested in Romania.
Who is Andrew Tate?
Born in Washington, D.C., the 36-year-old is a former professional kickboxer, who appeared on popular reality show Big Brother.
The son of African-American chess international master Emory Tate, he was born in the United States but was actually raised in Luton.
While he currently identifies as an entrepreneur and content creator, he has had other occupations over the past 12 years.
Starting a kickboxing career in 2009, he successfully won two world titles across two different weight divisions in 2010 and 2013, before his public profile grew further with an appearance in popular TV show Big Brother in 2016.
The series ended in rather controversial circumstances for Tate though when a video was posted online appearing to show him beating a woman with a belt.
Speaking at the time, Tate claimed that the women in the video had consented, adding: ”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 claimed it was part of role play and that he was using a felt belt.
A year later, he was banned from social media site Twitter which concluded he had violated the terms of the site with his statements on the #MeToo movement, due to a Tweet which reportedly said: “Sexual harassment is disgusting and inexcusable. However, a man looking at you or whistling at you or asking your name isn’t harassment.
“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.”
Discussing his Twitter ban, he said he didn’t feel he was “inciting violence, promoting terrorism or harassing anyone” and claimed the banning people was “censorship of free speech”, adding he had “never had specific tweets banned or been cautioned”.
He recently had his Twitter account restored by Elon Musk following the billionaire’s takeover of the site.
Why is Andrew Tate causing controversy?
He previously received attention for his posts on his Twitter page amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse case and for tweeting several statements about his view that sexual assault victims share responsibility for their assaults.
Furthermore, he also stated depression is not a real illness, receiving significant backlash.
In 2021, he had created another Twitter account despite his ban, which was later verified by the social media company. The account appeared to have been part of a promotion with Bugatti. The account was subsequently permanently suspended, with Twitter confirming the account was verified in error.
What has Andrew Tate said about Greta Thunberg
In recent days, Thunberg and Tate have been embroiled in a Twitter spat after the former Big Brother contestant took a swipe at the teenager, boasting of his car collection and its effect on her her environmental crusade.
“I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad-turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start” he posted, before adding “please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
However, a day later the 19-year-responded by saying “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at smalld**[email protected]”
Tate then issued a two minute video response via his Twitter account in where he addresses her reply before bizarrely stating “the Matrix has attacked him” over the original tweet and Thunberg’s response. Finally, an off-camera person hands him a stack of pizza boxes from a Romanian restaurant known as Jerry’s Pizza.
Has Andrew Tate been arrested
A video has been released showing Romanian police raiding a luxury property, while they arrest Andrew Tate. The 36-year-old has been detained for 24 hours alongside his brother Tristan and two Romanian suspects.
BBC News report that Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) issued a statement, but did not name the Tate brothers, stating that two British citizens and two Romanian citizens were suspected of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking. There has also been a video released of the raid showing money and various weapons, such as knives, in a room.
Mr Tate moved to Romania five years ago.
What is Andrew Tate’s net worth?
Tate claims to be fabulously wealthy, saying: “I don’t want to brag, but I’m a trillionaire, world’s first. I was broke for a long time.
"I made my first million when I was, say, 27 and then I had 100 million by the time I was 31, and then I became a trillionaire quite recently.”
While he claims to be a trillionaire, there are current none across the glode according to Forbes, with Elon Musk ‘only’ worth $250 billion.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Tate is worth a reported $50 Million.