Andrew Tate threatens to sue accuser in bid to ‘shut down’ testimony, report states

Andrew Tate  (AP)
Andrew Tate (AP)

Andrew Tate has threatened legal action against a woman believed to be a key witness in the Romanian investigation into rape and human trafficking claims against him.

Mr Tate, 36, and his brother Tristan, 34, both British-American dual citizens, have been in custody in Romania since a raid on December 29 when they were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Lawyers representing one of his accusers say they received a “cease-and-desist” letter by a US law firm acting on behalf of the brothers.

The letter threatened to sue the woman and her parents for $300m (£249m) unless she retracted her statements, according to the BBC, which has seen a redacted copy.

Benjamin Bull, who works for the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation, told the outlet that his client is a key witness in the investigation by Romania’s anti-organised crime agency Didcot, and that the letter was designed to do “one thing and one thing only”.

The letter “was intended to shut down the witness; stop the witness from bringing testimony forward in any proceedings”, he said, adding: “They want these young ladies to climb into a hole and hide, never come forward [or] describe what they saw and what happened to them.

“It’s clearly an effort to intimidate.”

The Tates’ legal representation told the BBC that the cease-and-desist letter was sent in December, as a civil matter for defamation and slander in the US – but deny any intimidation.

Mr Tate has used his online influence to complain about conditions in the Bucharest jail where he is being kept.

A message sent to followers last week read: “They are trying to break me. Thrown inside a cell without light. Cockroaches, lice, and bed bugs are my only friends at night.”

Prosecutors accuse Andrew Tate and associates of creating “an organised crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content”.