Andrew Tate sues his accusers in human trafficking case

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Andrew Tate sues his accusers in human trafficking case

Controversial social media personality Andrew Tate and his brother are suing a Florida woman, saying she falsely accused them of imprisoning her in Romania, leading to their arrest there on human trafficking charges.

The widely followed former professional kickboxer and his brother, Tristan, are seeking at least $5 million in the lawsuit, which was filed in Palm Beach County against the woman, her parents, another woman who lived at the Tates’ Bucharest estate and a male friend of the woman.

The Tates say the five conspired to falsely accuse them of human trafficking and rape, costing them their freedom and millions of dollars in income from their lucrative social media, podcasting and business ventures. The lawsuit says the woman and her parents are residents of Palm Beach County, which is why it was filed there on Tuesday.

Romanian officials arrested the Tates in December and indicted them last month, saying the brothers forced seven victims into pornography and subjected them to physical violence. They remain under house arrest in Romania.

But attorneys Thomas Maniotis and Joseph D. McBride in their lawsuit say the Tates are the victims of the Florida woman. They call her “a professional con artist” and say she pursued a sexual relationship with Tristan Tate in order to move to Romania, then tried to defraud the brothers. When that failed, she conspired with the others to make false statements to Romanian and U.S. embassy authorities that led to the arrests, the attorneys say.

“At no point did the Tate brothers engage in human trafficking,” the lawsuit says. The attorneys say the woman “is a serial liar, manipulator and schemer who exploits vulnerable, often wealthy men with good intentions for sexual, financial and emotional profit.”

The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her parents because she is the alleged victim of sexual assault. No working phone numbers could be found for the family and no attorneys for them are listed in the court record. No one answered their door Thursday afternoon. The other woman lives in Great Britain and the male friend in Virginia.

Romanian investigators said in their indictment that the Tates and two Romanian women formed a criminal group in 2021 “in order to commit the crime of human trafficking” in that country, the United States and Britain.

Andrew Tate was banned from TikTok, YouTube and Facebook for alleged hate speech and misogynistic comments, including that women should bear responsibility for being sexually assaulted. But he remains quite popular on Twitter, with more than 7 million followers, many of them young men and schoolchildren.

Several women in Britain also are pursuing civil claims against Andrew Tate, alleging they were victims of sexual violence.