Controversial influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan are in Romanian custody. Among the allegations against them is the recruitment of women into the porn industry. The BBC website listened to two Romanian women whom the brothers allegedly contacted online when they were teenagers. They told how the men’s scheme of action looked like.
On December 29, Andrew Tate was arrested in Romania. Investigators accuse him of rape, human trafficking and creating an organized criminal group. Together with him, prosecutors dealing with the fight against organized crime arrested his brother Tristan i two women – influencers who were supposed to help recruit women to work in the porn industry. The Romanian court on Friday announced the extension of the detention until at least February 27.
In one of the videos posted online, Andrew Tate instructed how to approach women on social media. He found that he put an intriguing emoji at the end of the message: cherry, orange, or strawberry. He also advised how to formulate the content to get young women to respond.
Romanian teenager: it was obvious that we were high school students
Daria Gusa is one of two women who told the BBC how the Tate brothers operated online. She is the daughter of a prominent Romanian politician and currently a student at one of the British universities.
She was 16 and a high school student when she received a private message on Instagram from Andrew Tate, almost 20 years her senior. As she reported, Tate wrote “Romanian girl” and included a strawberry symbol. “I was confused because I only had 200 followers and it was a private account,” she noted. “I think he was just trying to find girls who were as innocent or naive as possible,” she said.
Daria showed journalists a screenshot where you can see the message. She never answered it. Speaking about it, she said that many young men around her idolize Tate and see nothing wrong with his activities. “It’s a big problem,” she said, adding that “we can’t wake up in 20 years with two million Andrew Tates.”
Gabriela – not her real name, the woman asked to remain anonymous – was 17 when she was contacted on social media by Tristan Tate. The message she received read: “You are beautiful.” In one of the videos published on social media, Andrew Tate argued that the phrase “you are beautiful” is not a bad introduction, it also describes the “perfect example” of a conversation. After finding out where the woman lived, he advised asking, “Why have I never seen you? Where are you hiding?”
Such a scheme was used in Tristan’s exchange of messages with Gabriela. The screenshots show that the next message is exactly as Andrew suggested: “I feel like I’ve seen you around town before. Is that possible? Where have you been hiding?” The girl’s answer was: “It’s likely. I wasn’t hiding.” As Gabriela tells today, Tristan invited her for a drive around the city in his car and to a party, but she refused.
The conversation ended abruptly when Gabriela posted a video of Tristan on social media. “Important people will never want to write to you if they see you doing such things. It’s just a friendly warning,” reads one of the last messages from the man.
The BBC’s website has admitted that such online contacts with 16- or 17-year-old girls are not illegal, but the testimonies of both women reveal the “planned method” of the two brothers.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Robert Ghement