Andrew Tate Was Kicked Off ‘Big Brother’ in 2016 Amid Rape Investigation
Andrew Tate, an internet celebrity who preaches toxic masculinity and is currently detained in Romania over an alleged human trafficking operation, lasted less than a week on the reality show Big Brother in 2016. But he was kept on even as producers knew he was being investigated by U.K. authorities due to suspicion of rape and sexual assault a year before, VICE World News has revealed.
Tate was removed from the filming of Big Brother‘s 17th U.K. season after five days — the series features a cast confined to a house and isolated from the outside world as they compete for a cash prize — a decision that producers chalked up to “information which came to light.” At the time, it was assumed they meant a video of Tate slapping his ex-girlfriend and beating her with a belt, violence that Tate claimed was part of kinky sexual play.
Now, however, it has emerged that production house Endemol Shine, its parent company Banijay UK, and broadcaster Channel 5 had been informed on June 8, 2016, that Hertfordshire Police were investigating criminal complaints against Tate.
Two women, both of whom worked for Tate as webcam models and said he physically abused them, filed criminal complaints with the UK’s Hertfordshire Police shortly after the alleged abuse occurred in 2015. One claimed that Tate raped her, while the other alleges he repeatedly strangled her.
The TV execs then waited until June 13 to take Tate out of the Big Brother house, despite his 2015 arrest and the ongoing probe related to his criminal allegations. “During that time,” the VICE report mentions, “he was shown playing truth or dare in the hot tub and kissing one of the female contestants.”
ViacomCBS Networks International (owner of Channel 5) did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment on why Tate was removed from the show in 2016. A spokesperson from Banijay UK forwarded a statement noting that Tate had failed to mention the matter of the police investigation “despite being asked directly on several occasions, as a routine part of the casting process, to disclose anything of this nature.”
Although the casting process includes background checks, the statement continues, Tate’s came back clear, as no criminal charges had been filed at the time. When police contacted them on June 8, the company “began a process of extensive consultation with the broadcaster, Channel 5, and legal teams, including the lawyers representing Andrew Tate.”
“During this period, and whilst we sought to clarify the detail required by Channel 5 on the police investigation, Andrew was closely monitored at all times,” the Banijay UK statement continues.
Through a statement from his legal counsel, Andrew Tate has denied the 2015 allegations of assault and rape. A representative for Tate could offer “no update as of yet” on the old U.K. investigation but indicated that a statement from his client was forthcoming.
The two women, given the pseudonyms “Sally” and “Helen” in their latest comments to VICE, are extremely critical of the police who handled their case and took four years to turn it over to Crown Prosecution Service in 2019, which declined to pursue it further due to supposed “evidential issues.” The Crown Prosecution Service stated, “In this case, we carefully reviewed all the evidence provided by the police regarding each complainant and concluded it did not meet our legal test, and there was no realistic prospect of a conviction.” Each former Tate employee claimed to have witnessed him assaulting other women, and Sally alleged she saw him rape Helen.
Both women also point out similarities between the exploitative webcamming porn business they were a part of and the the alleged activities of Tate and his brother Tristan in Bucharest. Romanian authorities suspect the siblings of running a human trafficking organization, luring women to their property with the so-called “loverboy method” — hinting at the possibility of a romantic relationship before coercing them into working in their webcam studio. Tate had at one point openly bragged about turning girlfriends into adult performers and has long extolled the “pimp” lifestyle.
That Tate was able to appear on Big Brother after he’d been arrested and released under continuing investigation is particularly troubling to Helen and Sally, who have since watched his star rise as as a noxious role model to men around the world, despite his bans for misogynist hate speech across major social media platforms.
It was shortly before his detainment in Romania on Dec. 29 that Tate — reinstated on Elon Musk‘s Twitter after a “permanent” suspension lasting five years — embarked upon a war with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. He first attempted to troll her by bragging about the emissions produced by his extensive luxury car collection, prompting Thunberg to mock his “small dick energy” in a tweet that now ranks as the fourth most-liked tweet of all time.
As if to add injury to insult, Romanian police have now seized 11 of those vehicles. Ramona Bolla, an official with the country’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), told Insider that the cars — including a Rolls-Royce and an Aston Martin — would help “sustain the cost of the investigation” and may go toward payments to alleged trafficking victims.
Following their arrest in Bucharest along with two Romanian suspects, the Tate brothers were previously set to be detained for 24 hours. That window was extended to 30 days at the request of prosecutors — a decision their lawyer has appealed.
Whatever his next move, though, Tate’s prospects are looking grim. It’s one thing to sell impressionable young men on how to “escape the matrix,” quite another to get out of jail.
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