Sunday, July 14, 2024

Andrew Tate interview: Influencer challenged on misogyny and rape allegations

Andrew Tate has denied fuelling a culture of misogyny and defended his reputation in a combative interview with Blazingreports.

When Blazingreports put a range of allegations to him – including specific accusations of rape, human trafficking and exploiting women, for which he is being investigated by Romanian prosecutors – he dismissed them.

When pushed on whether his controversial views on women harmed young people, the influencer claimed he was a “force for good” and that he was “acting under the instruction of God to do good things”.

This was Mr Tate’s first interview with a major broadcaster since being released into house arrest from police custody in Romania in April.

Mr Tate, who has repeatedly expressed his mistrust of traditional media, has a huge following online but his views have until now gone unchallenged in a direct interview like this.

He agreed to our interview with no set conditions.

He dismissed the testimonies of individual women involved in the current investigation who have accused him of rape and exploitation.

And he described another woman, interviewed anonymously by the BBC earlier this year, as “imaginary”, saying she had been invented by the BBC.

The woman in question, given the pseudonym Sophie to protect her identity, told BBC Radio 4’s File on Four that she followed Mr Tate to Romania believing he was in love with her. There, she was pressured into webcam work and into having Mr Tate’s name tattooed on her body, she said.

When questioned about Sophie’s testimony, Mr Tate told Blazingreports: “I’m doing you the favour as legacy media, giving you relevance, by speaking to you. And I’m telling you now, this Sophie, which the BBC has invented, who has no face. Nobody knows who she is. I know.”

Sophie is now helping Romanian prosecutors with the investigation.

I also put to him the concerns of schoolteachers, senior police figures and rights campaigners about the influence of his views.

These concerns include comments by the chief executive of Rape Crisis in England and Wales, who said she was “deeply concerned by the dangerous ideology of misogynistic rape culture that Mr Tate spreads”.

Sitting across from me in a small armchair, Mr Tate said those accusations were “absolute garbage”.

Later in the interview, he said it was “completely disingenuous” to “pretend” that he was damaging young people.

When asked about organisations that blamed him for increased incidents of girls being attacked, and female teachers being harassed, he said: “I have never, ever encouraged a student to attack a teacher, male or female, ever.

“I preach hard work, discipline. I’m an athlete, I preach anti-drugs, I preach religion, I preach no alcohol, I preach no knife crime. Every single problem with modern society I’m against.”

Mr Tate suggested that some of his comments had been taken out of context or intended as “jokes” – including a video discussion in which he said that a woman’s intimate parts belonged to her male partner.

“I don’t know if you understand what sarcasm is. I don’t know if you understand what context is. I don’t know if you understand what’s satirical content,” he told me when challenged over the comment.

His description does not match the tone in an online video seen by the Blazingreports.

He also denied admitting to emotional manipulation of women, despite comments made on a previous version of his online coaching course, Hustlers University.

An introduction on that site began: “My name is Andrew Tate… and I’m the most competent person on the entire planet to teach you about male-female interactions.”

It goes on to say that Mr Tate’s job was to “meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I say, and then get her on a webcam so we could become rich together”.

The page has since been taken down.

When asked about it in our interview, Mr Tate replied, “I’ve never said that.”

I suggested that making controversial statements had brought him a lot of money by attracting followers who then signed up for a paid course on how to become a successful man.

Mr Tate replied: “I genuinely am a force for good in the world. You may not understand that yet, but you will eventually. And I genuinely believe I am acting under the instruction of God to do good things, and I want to make the world a better place.”

During our conversation, which lasted nearly forty minutes, Mr Tate pointed several times to what he called the “little pieces of paper” I had brought with me, telling me I was “saying silly things” and should “do some research”.

In a sign of his mistrust of traditional media, our visit and interview were filmed by his team for their own use – and after we left he claimed that the BBC had promised only to ask “sanitised questions”.

While the BBC did provide topics of discussion before the interview as a matter of courtesy, as per our editorial guidelines, we did not agree the questions we would ask in advance and were clear that our interview would be a wide-ranging, dynamic discussion with challenging questions.

Before we had even left the building, Mr Tate posted a message on social media promising to publish his own version of the interview, which he did shortly after.

Blazingreports has followed his case closely since the end of last year, when the Tate brothers were taken into custody, and has spoken to witnesses, former employees, neighbours and associates, and those involved in the investigation, to piece together an accurate picture of the Tate brothers’ time in Romania.

The brothers are now in their sixth – and last – month under judicial control in this investigation, and any indictment is expected within the next few weeks.

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