Just hours after Andrew Tate’s humiliating Twitter spat with climate activist Greta Thunberg, the controversial influencer has been arrested by Romanian authorities on charges of human trafficking and investigating a rape.
The 36-year-old former kickboxer, who gained infamy for his misogynistic views, was apprehended by Romanian police after staying at a villa where he was staying with his brother on Thursday.
It was widely speculated on social media that the arrest may never have happened had he not posted a clapback video to mock Ms Thunberg on Twitter.
Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Directorate, which had been waiting for the Tate brothers’ return to Romania for nine months, mobilized forces and descended on their villa after learning they were in the country through their posts on social networks, sources close to the investigation told the Romanian exit Gandul.
“Romanian authorities needed proof that Andrew Tate was in the country, so they would have used his social media posts,” civil rights lawyer Alejandra Caraballo tweeted, sharing a screenshot of the video. Mr. Tate from the day before.
“His ridiculous video from yesterday featured a pizza from a Romanian pizza chain, Jerry’s Pizza, confirming he was in the country.”
However, in an interview with the Washington Post, Ramona Bolla, spokeswoman for the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations Branch, denied the pizza boxes in the Twitter video played a role in Mr Tate’s arrest, saying “it was a job difficult to gather all the evidence”.
It started after Mr Tate tried to mock Ms Thunberg and tagged the climate activist in a Twitter Publishasking for his email address so he can “send a full list of my car collection and their respective huge shows”.
The next day, the climate activist responded with a tweet, saying, “Yes, please enlighten me. email me at smalldi***[email protected]
The exchange quickly went viral, with Ms Thunberg’s post garnering millions of likes and inspiring a number of trending topics.
Mr Tate hit back by sharing a response video, telling Nobel Prize nominee Ms Thunberg and Time person of the year, for “having a life”.
In the video, Mr Tate smoked a cigar in a bathrobe and someone offscreen gave him a stack of pizza boxes from Romanian pizza chain Jerry’s Pizza. He tried to joke about refusing to recycle the boxes to taunt Ms Thunberg.
But Ms Thunberg got the last laugh by posting a tweet after Mr Tate’s arrest saying: ‘This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes’.
The Tate brothers have been under criminal investigation since April. They were detained alongside two Romanian suspects.
“The four suspects (…) appear to have created an organized criminal group with the aim of recruiting, harboring and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content intended to be viewed on specialized websites for a fee”, have prosecutors said.
The former kickboxer has gained a large following of men online and has been banned from various social media sites, for his aggressive and often misogynistic views, including that women should “shut the fuck up, have kids, stay home.” house, be calm and make coffee”.
His Twitter account has been reinstated alongside Donald Trump and Kanye West following the Elon Musk takeover.
In 2016, he was kicked out of the reality show Big brotherafter a video emerged of him hitting a woman with a belt, and a second clip showed him telling the woman to count the bruises he had left on her body.