Andrew Tate went from being a small-time celebrity – Big Brother contestant, kickboxer, influencer – to a household name for his misogynistic videos, social media bans and high-profile arrest in Romania.
He is being held on suspicion of rape and human trafficking – allegations he denies.
It’s been a whistlestop few months of controversial Twitter posts, court dates and rows with climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.
Here’s what led up to Tate‘s arrest and what has happened since he was detained.
April 2022 – the first raid
On 11 April, Tate’s home was searched by Romanian police in relation to their investigation into claims of human trafficking and rape.
Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, known as DIICOT, has pointed to this raid as evidence their investigation has been ongoing for months, and Tate’s arrest in December was not linked to the pizza boxes shown in a clapback video aimed at Greta Thunberg (more on that later).
August 2022 – social media bans
Tate is banned from Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for violating rules on “dangerous individuals” and breaching hate speech rules.
This brought his tally of social media bans to five. He was kicked off Twitter in 2017 (but allowed back on in November 2022) and TikTok won’t let him have an account – although that hasn’t stopped his videos racking up millions of views on the platform.
He relaunched himself on the streaming platform Rumble, which describes itself as “immune to cancel culture”.
27 December 2022 – Greta Thunberg row
Tate goads climate campaigner Greta Thunberg on Twitter, sharing a picture of himself standing next to a Bugatti, boasting about his 33 cars and asking for her email address so he could send details of their “enormous emissions”.
Ms Thunberg’s reply – featuring a fake email address mocking him and ending with the words “getalife.com”. – became one of the most-liked tweets in history.
28 December 2022 – pizza clapback video
He follows up with a video where he smokes a cigar and tells Ms Thunberg to “get a life”. He is passed a stack of pizza boxes bearing Romanian branding, spawning the theory that the video gave away his location to police.
There is no evidence this is the case although Ms Thunberg took the opportunity for a dig, tweeting: “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.”
29 December 2022 – the arrest
Tate is arrested, along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women. They were held on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.
They were initially detained for 24 hours, which was then extended to 30 days. A further 30 days were added in January, allowing them to be held until 27 February.
10 January 2023 – court appearance
The Tate brothers appear in court in Bucharest. They lost their appeal against the court extending their detention.
A document explaining the judge’s motivation for the extension said “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored” and they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.
Their lawyers also argued – unsuccessfully – that the court should return possessions seized during their arrest, including properties, land, and a fleet of luxury cars.
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12 January 2023 – homes raided
Police raid seven more homes with the aim of uncovering further evidence in the investigation into Tate.
14 January 2023 – luxury cars seized
Romanian authorities seize several luxury cars from Tate’s villa. The cars, which included a Rolls-Royce and a BMW, were taken from the house and transported by police to a secret warehouse.
25 and 26 January 2023 – brothers questioned
The brothers spent two days being questioned at the Bucharest headquarters of the organisation that tackles organised crime and terrorism, known as Diicot.
As the pair arrived on the second day, Tristan Tate told reporters: “What evidence is there? There is none.”
Andrew Tate protested his innocence as he left, saying: “There is no evidence in my file because I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Diicot spokesperson Ramona Bolla said it was taking time to go through the “multiple devices” seized.