Tristan Tate and Andrew Tate pictured in March this year. Photo: DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images
Alleged human traffickers Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan are suing two of their accusers in a Romanian criminal case against them – insisting that it’s them, not the women, who are the real victims.Lawyers for the women said they believe the case has no merit, while other women who accuse Andrew Tate of serious abuse described the lawsuit as a “crude and malicious attempt to spread disinformation” and an attempt to silence the brothers’ victims.
Andrew Tate, a controversial British-American “manosphere” influencer and his brother, Tristan, are seeking at least $5 million in damages from five individuals they blame for their arrest in Romania on human trafficking charges. The lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by VICE News, seeks damages on the grounds of defamation, loss of earnings, false imprisonment, conspiracy, and infliction of emotional distress.The lawsuit names two women – one of whom is based in Florida, the other in the UK – who it says were responsible for triggering a raid by Romanian police on the brother’s Bucharest compound in April 2022, during which officials removed the women from the property. The others named in the lawsuit are the US woman’s parents, and a male friend of hers, also US-based, who the lawsuit said had notified the US Embassy in Romania of the trafficking allegations. The suit has been filed in Palm Beach county, Florida, as the US-based woman and her parents supposedly live there.Romanian officials arrested the Tates in December and eventually indicted them, along with two Romanian co-defendants, last month. They’re charged with forming a criminal group to traffick seven women into performing webcam pornography. Romanian authorities say the Tates used the so-called “loverboy” method, in which abusers groom women into sex work with the false promise of love and relationships, to exploit the women.
The Tates’ lawsuit attempts to flip this narrative on its head, claiming that to the contrary, it was Tristan Tate “who was the victim of a romance scam” by one of the women named in the lawsuit, while Andrew “was collateral damage in the fallout.”The lawsuit said that Tristan Tate met the US-based woman on the dating app Hinge and invited her to an event in Miami in December 2021, after which they started a sexual relationship. It claims that the woman had been the one pushing to come to Romania and do webcam work for the Tates, and that he had been resistant to the idea, before eventually relenting. But after she arrived in the country, the lawsuit claimed, she had swiftly become disappointed that the brothers were too busy with their business interests to devote time to her, and grew disillusioned. At that point, it claimed, she teamed up with the UK woman who was also working at the Tate property and cooked up a scheme to “defraud the Tate brothers – and ultimately accuse… them of human trafficking and other grave crimes.The Tate brothers have denied the charges against them in Romania. Prior to his arrest, Andrew Tate has spoken extensively online about his use of the “loverboy” method to groom women into webcam pornography, even selling online courses to men teaching them how to follow in his footsteps.“My job was to get women to fall in love with me. Literally,” reads a since-deleted page on Tate’s website advertising his PHD (Pimping Hoes Degree) course. “[M]eet 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.”
His methods involved searching for potential recruits on dating apps. VICE News has spoken to women who matched with him on such apps, before he attempted to groom them into webcam work using the loverboy method.READ: How Andrew Tate used Tinder and Instagram to try to groom womenLawyers for the women targeted in the lawsuit, from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in the US, told VICE News that they were aware of the filing, but did “not believe the lawsuit has any merit.”“We are evaluating next steps as we wait for them to give formal notice,” the organisation said in a statement.Benjamin Bull, a National Center on Sexual Exploitation lawyer for one of the witnesses in the Romanian case, told the BBC after the Tates sent a “cease-and-desist” letter to his client that their legal threats were designed to do "one thing and one thing only.”“They want these young ladies to climb into a hole and hide, never come forward [or] describe what they saw and what happened to them. It's clearly an effort to intimidate,” he said.A group of four women who say they were seriously abused by Andrew Tate when he was living in the UK about a decade ago said in a joint statement issued through their lawyers on Friday that they were alarmed by the Tates’ US lawsuit, which they saw as an attempt to intimidate their victims.“We are deeply concerned by these developments, which in our view amount to nothing more than a crude and malicious attempt to spread disinformation, disclose personal and private information, and attack those brave enough to speak out against their abusers,” said the statement from the women, who have filed their own lawsuit against him in Britain. The experiences of three of the women – two of whom were recruited by Tate to work for his webcam business, the other of whom was in a romantic relationship with him – were first revealed by VICE News earlier this year.“We stand in solidarity with all of the alleged victims of the Tates, and commend all those who have come forward to date,” said the statement. “We will not be intimidated into silence.”Lawyers for the Tate brothers did not respond to requests for comment.