Self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate has gone from being a divisive social media influencer to an accused human-trafficking rapist behind bars in Romania.
But who exactly is the internet provocateur?
For many, the American-British former kickboxer likely only came onto their radar this week when — ahead of his dramatic arrest Thursday — he went viral for being humiliated by Greta Thunberg.
The cigar-puffing playboy — who once claimed to be the world’s first trillionaire — had tried to taunt the 19-year-old eco-warrior by bragging about the “enormous emissions” of his fleet of 33 cars.
When he asked her for an email address to send a full list, she wittily clapped back: “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at smalld–firstname.lastname@example.org.”
But the now-viral spat was far from Tate’s first brush with notoriety online. The self-styled self-help guru has grabbed attention for his troubling views and behavior for years.
Tate’s rise to fame started in 2016 when he appeared on the UK reality TV show “Big Brother.”
Just seven days in, he was booted from the show after the Sun shared a video of him whipping and beating a girlfriend for looking at other men.
A second video emerged of him telling a woman to count the bruises he caused on her.
Both Tate and the women insisted it had been consensual. But such violence would follow Tate long before his arrest this week.
In a since-deleted video, he openly discussed hitting a woman and breaking her jaw during a bar fight — saying he “got away with it in the end,” NBC said.
In another, he called a woman who accused him of violence “a dumb ho.”
In one clip, he also advised his followers to “slap, slap, grab, choke” women in the bedroom.
And if a woman accused him of cheating, “It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck,” he says in one video, acting it out with a large weapon.
His views led to numerous online bans, starting in 2017 when — at the height of the Harvey Weinstein allegations — he was suspended by Twitter for saying that women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted or raped.
He also said that if a man in a relationship has sex with someone else, it’s “not cheating, it’s exercise” — while if the woman “even talks to a dude, it’s cheating.”
“My chicks don’t go to the club without me, they are at home,” he said in another video, saying he expects “absolute loyalty from my woman.”
By August this year, he was banned on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram — reveling in how it made him the most Googled man in the world that month.
As his influence spread, online educators even shared advice on how to protect students from his toxic views — which he sells to kids as young as 13 in his “Hustler’s University.”
Born Emory Andrew Tate lll at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, on Dec. 1, 1986, Tate has said he came out of the womb a fighter.
He was named after his dad, a black military veteran and chess player whom he called his “role model.”
But after struggling to find work, his dad — who died seven years ago — stayed behind in the US while Tate, his mom, brother and sister moved to the UK, settling in nondescript Luton.
“So by age 11 I was [the] man of the house,” Tate has said, saying he soon started working in markets while still at school.
He also started kickboxing, finding success as the three-time ISKA Kickboxing world champion and Enfusion Live champion. The skilled fighter soon started gambling with sponsorship money.
Now, he is known for his super-extravagant lifestyle, racing around in a private jet and the sports cars he bragged about to Thunberg.
“I was broke for a long time,” Tate told Adin Ross earlier this year.
“I made my first million when I was 27, and then I had a hundred million dollars by the time I was 31.
“I became a trillionaire quite recently … the world’s first trillionaire,” he said — claiming to have more than three times more than Elon Musk ever had at his richest.
While clearly exaggerating, Tate has been estimated to be worth up to $100 million.
In June, the Sunday Mirror revealed that Tate and his brother had raked in millions from webcam sites where men hand over a fortune as they fall for models’ fake sob stories.
“It’s all a big scam,” Tristan reportedly admitted to the UK paper.
Tate pushes himself as a self-help guru for men, charging followers — some as young as 13 — $50 a month for his “Hustler’s University,” which has been accused of being a callous pyramid scheme.
“You can skip university, you can buy my program and I guarantee you you will know everything you need to know,” he claimed in one commercial for it, bragging about his fleet of sports cars.
As well as making him cash, the program played a key role in his online profile, with university members being told to flood social media with videos of him, choosing the most controversial clips to get maximum engagement, the Observer has said.
Earlier this year, Tate told NBC News that he is a mere “success coach” whose controversial videos are part of an “online character” he plays.
“It has nothing to do about hate for women,” Tate said. “It’s simply about good and bad people. My mother is my hero.”
His mother, Eileen Tate, still lives in a modest $330,000 house in Luton, the Daily Mail said.
Tate has also said he’s estranged from his sister, Janine, having described her as a “feminist.”
Tate and his brother, meanwhile, moved to Romania despite having no ties to the country — with the self-proclaimed guru admitting it was motivated by the criminal justice system there.
In one since-deleted video, he said that “probably 40% of the reason” he moved there is it would be easier to evade rape charges, the Guardian said.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free,” he reportedly said.
On Friday, Romanian prosecutors asked a Bucharest court to extend his detention by 30 days after his arrest on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group.
That, prosecutors allege, is how Tate and his brother really “gained important sums of money” through recruiting, housing and exploiting women.
The brothers allegedly forced the women to “create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost.”
His arrest brought further mocking from Thunberg as reports suggested that a pizza box in his video reply to the teen had given away his whereabouts before the arrest.
He had used the box to try to taunt the activist by saying it was not recycled.
“This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” Thunberg quipped after his arrest.