Exclusive: Andrew Tate Was Arrested on Suspicion of Rape in the UK in 2015

7 years before his arrest in Romania, Andrew Tate was investigated over allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse in the UK, during which time he appeared on Big Brother for five days. But UK authorities declined to prosecute.

Warning: This story and the accompanying video clips contain graphic descriptions of sexual assault and physical violence.

BUCHAREST, Romania – Notorious influencer Andrew Tate was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and physical abuse in 2015 while he and his brother were running a webcam sex business out of the UK, VICE World News can reveal.

It comes after Tate and his brother Tristan were remanded in custody in Romania until the end of January after being arrested by anti-organised crime police as part of a rape and human trafficking investigation. The Tate brothers’ lawyer is appealing the court order extending their detention.


Two women told VICE World News they were violently abused – one raped, the other repeatedly strangled – by Andrew Tate, and that UK police and the Crown Prosecution Service mishandled their case, leaving him free to rise to global fame on the back of his unchecked misogyny. Police took four years to pass their investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – whose job involves assessing whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction – at which point the CPS declined to prosecute.

In a statement issued via his lawyer in Romania, Tate denied assault or rape.

Romanian police said in late December, 2022, that they’d identified six people who were allegedly “sexually exploited” by an “organised criminal group” that “recruited” victims via false displays of affection known as the so-called “loverboy method,” forcing women to perform pornographic content via “physical violence and mental coercion.”

According to one woman VICE World News spoke to, whom we’re calling “Sally,” Tate used a similar method of emotional and physical control in his UK webcam business back in 2015, before relocating to Romania, but the CPS declined to prosecute the case.

“When I saw that he was arrested in Romania I was shocked and didn’t know how to react. I cried. Everything I read is what I told the police [at the time of the complaint]. If the CPS had just pulled their finger out, none of this would’ve happened,” Sally said. VICE World News is withholding the woman’s identity to prevent harassment and trolling by Tate’s supporters.


A second woman, whom we’re calling “Helen,” said she was “happy something has been done, but not completely hopeful, as he’s walked free from his sexual assaults before.” 

“I have been very frustrated by the British police and court system for a long time, they could have stopped him from doing the exact same abuse to these women in Romania,” she said. Helen’s identity is also being withheld to protect her from harassment and trolling by Tate’s supporters.

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While Tate was released under investigation by Hertfordshire Police following the women’s complaints, meaning he was suspected of a criminal offence and a police probe was ongoing, he appeared as a contestant on reality TV show Big Brother in 2016. Producers were informed by police of the ongoing investigation but kept him on the show for five days before removing him. During that time, he was shown playing truth or dare in the hot tub and kissing one of the female contestants. 


Channel 5 said at the time that Tate had been removed from the Big Brother house because of “information which came to light.” Press reports linked his ousting from the house to a video that had surfaced of him slapping his ex-girlfriend, and then beating her with a belt – a narrative that Tate himself would later encourage. Public outrage eventually simmered down after Tate released a video of his ex saying it was all part of a consensual kinky game.  

But what the public didn’t know, and what VICE World News can now report, is that – contrary to claims at the time – the real reason Tate was removed was due to the sexual assault and physical abuse investigation that had been shared with producers five days prior.  

Asked about its handling of the complaint, Banijay UK, which owns Endemol Shine, the production company behind Big Brother, said that after being informed by police of their investigation on 8th June 2016, it “began a process of extensive consultation with Channel 5, and legal teams, including the lawyers representing Andrew Tate.” The company said that Tate was “closely monitored at all times” during this period, while they sought to clarify the detail required by Channel 5 on the police investigation, before he was removed from the house on the 13th of June.


Sally and Helen spoke exclusively to VICE World News because they say they want the world to know the true extent of Tate's abusive and exploitative behaviour, especially as the British-American kickboxer – known as the “king of toxic masculinity” – has in recent months become one of the most Googled names on the planet.

Helen told us, “I hope and pray he’s finally arrested for his disgusting abuse and crimes against young women, and I can finally exist without having to see and hear the person who degraded and raped me all over the internet.” 

The survivors’ interviews will be included in an upcoming VICE World News documentary about Andrew Tate. Reporters Matt Shea and Jamie Tahsin visited Tate’s compound in Romania in the summer of 2022, and gained access to the Tate brothers’ so-called “secret society,” the War Room.

Tate’s poisonous attitudes towards women are no secret, and he was deplatformed from multiple social media platforms, although some struggled to remove clips featuring Tate uploaded by other users. Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Tate’s Twitter profile was restored. But the women we spoke to say his track record of misogynistic abuse is far worse than what’s previously been known.

“To suddenly see him pop up on TikTok just made me really angry,” said Sally, of Tate’s prominence on social media.


“I think it was because like, people don't know what he's done.”

Sally told VICE World News that she was strangled by Tate at least five times, and saw him choke other women on at least 10 occasions, attacking them in sudden outbursts of violence. The attacks allegedly occurred when the women were working for Tate’s webcam sex business in Luton, England, in 2015.

“Me and another girl would wake up in the morning with these, like, red, I can only describe them as freckles around our eyes,” said Sally.

“It was from when he choked me so hard that my blood vessels had literally just burst.”

Around the same time as Sally said she was abused, one of her co-workers, Helen, was allegedly raped by Tate, in a sexual assault that Sally claims to have witnessed. Helen went public with the allegation in a TikTok video in 2022, but said it was quickly taken down by TikTok after being reported by masses of Tate supporters. 

The women filed criminal complaints with the UK’s Hertfordshire Police shortly after the abuse allegedly occurred in 2015. But the police investigation was struck by remarkable delays – for which police subsequently apologised to the women – before the case file was finally sent to a lawyer at the CPS four years later, in July, 2019. 

The CPS, whose job involves assessing whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction, told VICE World News that they determined the case “did not meet our legal test, and there was no realistic prospect of a conviction” – despite Sally having allegedly been an eyewitness to Helen’s rape. 


When VICE World News put these allegations to Tate, he responded via a lawyer to deny that he physically abused Sally and to deny that he raped Helen.

”They wanted money because I fired them,” Tate said via his lawyer from Romanian custody. “The police understood after the investigation that I am innocent and the police found messages from the girls’ phones where they were talking between themselves and planning to lie about me.”

The women told us that Helen received a letter from the CPS informing her that voice notes Helen and Sally exchanged informed the decision not to charge Tate. According to Sally and Helen, they discussed in the voice notes whether they should tell police that Tate gave them alcohol. They decided to do so, they said, because according to them that is what happened. At the time when the women made their complaint against Tate, it was common for police forces in England and Wales to demand that sexual assault survivors hand over their phones so that police could search them for any private messages that could undermine their claims. The UK government has pledged in recent years to ensure that police do not unduly pressure victims to get their agreement to hand over phone data.

Sally and Helen say they no longer have these voice notes and VICE World News has not been able to independently review them. Asked about the voice notes specifically, a CPS spokesperson would only say: "There were a number of evidential issues that led us to conclude our legal test was not met."


In 2019, the same year CPS declined to bring charges against Tate, UK newspaper the Guardian reported on a CPS seminar wherein the CPS director of legal services, Greg McGill, and the director of public prosecutions’ legal adviser, Neil Moore, urged prosecutors to take a proportion of “weak cases out of the system” to improve conviction rates.

One prosecutor who attended the seminar claimed staff were told: “If we took 350 weak cases out of the system, our conviction rate goes up to 61 percent.”

The Guardian reported that the CPS did not challenge the reported language used by the officials, and said the seminars were part of “ongoing training to ensure our prosecutors have access to the latest information on new and refreshed legal guidance.”

According to Rape Crisis England & Wales, only one in 100 rapes in the UK result in a charge – let alone a conviction.

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, a UK-based group that has campaigned to improve how the justice system handles sexual violence cases, told VICE World News that the police’s handling of the women’s complaints was unacceptable.

“A four-year wait for the police to refer a case to the CPS is particularly shocking and an unacceptable failing,” she said. “In this timeframe, Andrew Tate was able to continue building his profile, wealth and status – with stints on national TV and a growing online presence.”


She said the case underlined how sexual assault survivors were “routinely being failed by a broken justice system that has a problem with institutional misogyny.” 

“Inaction sends a clear message that those perpetrating violence against women can do so with impunity.”

Both survivors, who had been warned by officers of the challenges of securing convictions in rape cases, were nevertheless devastated by the decision, and angered by what they perceive as the police’s mishandling of their case. 

Not only did they feel that the authorities had failed to deliver justice for the abuse they’d suffered; they had effectively allowed Tate to carry on his abusive path without consequences. Tate subsequently started a new webcam business in Romania that is now the subject of an organised crime investigation, and built a large social media business empire by peddling an abusive and misogynistic gospel of “alpha masculinity” to an audience of men and teenage boys. 

Tate is now known for making millions of dollars selling online courses that promise to teach his millions of young followers “the secrets to modern wealth creation.” He also ran a course called the “Pimpin’ Hoes Degree’” which instructs men on how to recruit women for webcam work using manipulation. The methodology is similar to the “loverboy” method that Romanian authorities claim he and his brother used to abuse women.


Tate has made no secret of using the exploitative “loverboy” approach in his webcam business, boasting on since-deleted sections of his website that, under his business model, “over 50% of my employees were actually my girlfriend at the time and, of all my girlfriends, NONE were in the adult entertainment industry before they met me.”

“My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality. Get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together,” the website said.

Tate has previously said that his relocation to Romania was motivated in part by a desire to escape a liberal, post-#MeToo Western society where men faced greater accountability for sexual assault claims.

“This is probably 40 percent of the reason I moved to Romania, because in eastern Europe, none of this garbage flies,” he said in one video clip. “If you go to the police and say ‘He raped me back in 1988,’ they’ll say ‘Well you should have done something about it then’.”

Sally, who was 20 and had never done webcam work before Tate approached her to work for him, said he initially cut a favourable impression when they met: “really, really charming,” well-dressed and attentive. But the realities of working for Tate, mainly out of a “dingy flat in Luton,” England, didn’t live up to the appealing image he presented.


The first night she worked for him, she said, Tate brought about five bottles of wine. Having never done webcam work before, Sally said she was nervous, and got “completely drunk”; Tate, she believes, didn’t drink at all that night. 

At one point in the evening, as the pair were sitting together on the bed, she said Tate punched her, hard, in her arm. “I went to the bathroom and cried. It really, really hurt to have someone just hit me in the arm for no reason. I was very confused,” she said, starting to cry.

When she emerged from the bathroom, Tate was “super nice,” and they ended up having sex while she was extremely intoxicated. 

Focusing on the money, Sally said she overlooked Tate’s violence and began working for him every night. “As soon as he handed me my money, I forgot about him hitting me and everything else,” she said, although she can see now that the £15 an hour Tate paid her was a tiny portion of what he profited from her labour.

But, according to Sally, violence became a frequent feature of life at the flat where she and her colleagues worked. “It just got worse over time. He got more verbally abusive, more physical,” she said.

Tate repeatedly assaulted the women who worked for him, said Sally, choking her on at least five occasions, while she witnessed him do the same to her co-workers at least 10 times. The attacks were in keeping with the dominant, controlling “pimp” persona he cultivated: a poster on the walls of their workplace read: “if there is ever a problem, if there is ever a glitch / Big Tate won’t wait, straight slap a bitch.”

andrew tate poster.png

Photo: Supplied

She said these violent outbursts would occur seemingly at random, with no apparent trigger, but occasionally when he accused the women of being late for work.

“Andrew … used to strangle us for literally no reason,” she said.

She recalls one time when he came into a room and said: “‘Which one of you hoes am I going to strangle today?’ I couldn't believe that that was our life, you know? But it just seemed really, really normal for us, even though it wasn't.”

The alleged abuse took other forms as well. “I saw him smack girls with a belt. I witnessed him doing it to one of the girls I was staying with, because she wanted a lie-in… he came upstairs and just started whipping her with a belt.”

On another occasion, she said she witnessed Tate rape her friend Helen. She said she had taken a shower when she came back into the bedroom to find Tate sexually assaulting her friend. 

“We went to sleep in the same bed with Andrew, but this time the girl [Helen] had a partner, so she was not interested in Andrew at all. And I had gone to the shower while I came back, and I noticed he was like… I saw him raping her.”

Helen stopped working for Tate shortly after the assault, and, about two weeks later, Sally decided she had had enough too.

“I just wanted to get out of that situation,” Sally said. She recalls Tate threatening to beat her up in a bathroom. “He said, ‘Oh, I don't give a fuck if you call the police, I'm going to beat the shit out of you.’ That's kind of when I knew, you know, I had to go with her.”


That’s also when the women went to the police.

But if they were hoping to see their alleged abuser swiftly brought to justice, they would be sorely disappointed. What was even more traumatising for the women was that after Tate was released under investigation, he appeared on Big Brother on Channel 5, giving him his first major public exposure and a valuable stepping stone on his path to fame.

“Then when he went into Big Brother, that's when [Hertfordshire Police] started to take things seriously because they were like, ‘he's on TV, we need to get him out’,” said Sally.

Police confirmed to VICE World News that they contacted the show’s producers about the investigation into Tate in June 2016. 

We reached out to Banijay UK. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “As soon as we were made aware by Hertfordshire Police on 8th June 2016 that Andrew Tate was being investigated by the police, we began a process of extensive consultation with Channel 5, and legal teams, including the lawyers representing Andrew Tate. During this period, and whilst we sought to clarify the detail required by Channel 5 on the police investigation, Andrew was closely monitored at all times. He was removed from the house on 13th June.”

When VICE World News reached out to Hertfordshire Police about the above allegations, they responded with the following statement: “We acknowledge that there were some delays to the investigation. This was addressed at the time and apologies were made. The case was only closed in late 2019 after a case file had been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service and they took the decision not to prosecute. All those involved in the investigation were further updated at that time.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said, “In this case, we carefully reviewed all the evidence provided by the police regarding each complainant and concluded it did not meet our legal test, and there was no realistic prospect of a conviction.”

“We sent a letter to each complainant explaining our decision not to charge.”

The Tate brothers are being detained in Romanian custody until the end of January.

The survivors’ interviews will be included in an upcoming VICE World News documentary about Andrew Tate. Reporters Matt Shea and Jamie Tahsin visited Tate’s compound in Romania in the summer of 2022, and gained access to the Tate brothers’ so-called “secret society,” the War Room.

If you’re in the US and need someone to talk to about an experience with sexual assault or abuse, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), where trained staff can provide you with support, information, advice, or a referral. You can also access 24/7 help online by visiting

In the UK, the Survivors Trust provides support for people who have experienced sexual assault, abuse of rape. Rape Crisis provides specialist information and support to those affected by all forms of sexual violence and abuse, and is the membership organisation for 39 Rape Crisis centres.