On Tuesday, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson opened his interview with social media personality and alleged human trafficker Andrew Tate by lamenting how many young men have withdrawn into pornography, and touted Tate as a potential tonic to the blight.
Despite Carlson’s disdain over porn, the host left out virtually every relevant detail of Tate’s documented webcamming business, instead allowing Tate to paint a rosy picture of himself as a woefully misunderstood family man who’s been targeted by the global “matrix.”
Though Carlson kicked off the interview by imploring viewers to “make up your own mind about Andrew Tate,” Tate began by spouting verifiable falsehoods. When asked what he was charged with, Tate claimed, with an amused expression on his face, that he was charged with being the head of an organized criminal group which involved “recruiting girls to make TikTok videos to steal the money from TikTok views.” This is a claim that his brother Tristan also made on their stream last month.
During the interview, Tate presented his defense to Carlson by describing himself as “a 35 year old man,” who was “already extremely financially successful.”
“I was already a father, I was already well known, I had no financial motivation, I have no criminal record, it’s not my personality profile. But I woke up at the age of 35 and decided to make girls do TikTok to enrich myself with the pennies I would earn [from TikTok],” he said.
While it is true that the court documents from Romanian authorities allege that the Tate brothers were “forcing [victims] to perform forced labor” on TikTok, prosecutors also claim in court documents that the brothers forced these women to make adult content on OnlyFans for them, while also posting on social media for 12 hours a day with little more than a five-minute break.
One source close to the Tates previously told Rolling Stone that women who worked for the brothers would be pitted against one another to go live in TikTok “battles,” sometimes to the point of falling asleep on camera. Carlson, however, does not mention the specifics of the allegations, only asking, “How do you force someone to make TikTok videos?”
But the image Tate conjured for Carlson of an aging man bound to familial responsibilities conflicts with the public persona he’s marketed to his fans. His indictment reflects Tate’s alleged use of the “loverboy” method to convince women he was romantically involved with to engage in sex work on his behalf. Tate himself provided an explanation of his methods in his 2018 “PhD” (Pimping Hoes Degree) program that featured this description on it’s webpage: “My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality, get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I’d say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together.”
Carlson also failed to press Tate on his creation of the PhD program, nor did they speak at length about his past in the adult industry, despite Tate speaking at length about the evils of adult content during the interview. A little more than an hour into the interview, Carlson asks Tate about his thoughts on porn. Tate, who has previously bragged that he became rich off coercing women into performing on webcam, replies that “men are replacing genuine sexual relationships with a computer screen and porn,” and that “masculine virtue is being destroyed.”
During the interview, Tate also reiterated his story that he sprung from rags to riches, and that he grew up in a council estate with a single mother from “the absolute lowest echelon of life” to become a kickboxing world champion. This is a claim that he and his brother have often peddled in their podcasts and as part of their marketing materials. A source who knew the brothers when they were younger previously told Rolling Stone, “He never came from poverty” and that the brothers had a Porsche and Ferrari during the time period when they said they were struggling. Again, Carlson does not press him on this.
A former kickboxer and reality TV star from Luton, a working-class city in Bedfordshire, England, Tate first achieved mainstream fame in the UK after he was booted from the TV show Big Brother after a video surfaced of him beating a woman with a belt. Both Tate and the woman, his ex-girlfriend, denied that the footage depicted abuse, with him referring to the tape as a “kinky sex video.”
It was later reported that Tate was kicked off the show because producers had learned he was under investigation following two women filing criminal complaints with Hertfordshire police that he had raped and repeatedly strangled them. Crown Prosecution Services dropped the case in 2019, stating it “did not meet our legal test.” (Tate has denied the allegations, claiming the women made them up as retaliation for him firing them from his camming business.) Rolling Stone also exclusively reported earlier this year that Andrew’s brother Tristan also encountered legal trouble in the United Kingdom, and was arrested for assault at his apartment in Luton on Jan. 1, 2014. (No charges were filed following the arrest, and Tate’s representative has previously declined to comment on it.)
Tate’s legal troubles, combined with comments he has made in now-deleted videos appearing to endorse violence against women (he has claimed such remarks were made out of context), have all contributed to many viewing him as a misogynist. During the interview with Carlson, Tate responded to such accusations, claiming, “This idea that I’m hated by women is the biggest lie out of this whole story. I don’t want to brag, but I can assure the world that’s absolutely not true,” before launching into a story about a woman who played love songs for him from her car while he was in jail. He then claimed he would request songs, such as Whitesnake’s “Is This Love,” for her to play outside of jail, to the delight of a giggling Carlson.
After being kicked off Big Brother, Tate started dabbling in the far-right ecosystem, according to an investigation by Rolling Stone. Tate and Tristan later relocated to Romania, where they had minor business dealings, with Tate claiming, in a now-deleted video, “I’m not a fucking rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free.” He later established himself as an influencer in the manosphere, launching the PhD Program in 2018 and Hustlers’ University in 2021, which was aimed at teaching men various money-making schemes.
In April 2022, Tate’s house was raided following a call placed to the American embassy in Romania reporting that two women, an American woman and a Moldovan woman, had been lured to his compound under false pretenses and forced to make content on TikTok and OnlyFans. Through an attorney, Tate has denied he and his brother used “undue influence” to lure the women to Romania. Tate and his brother were arrested in 2022 and detained for months on suspicion of rape, organized crime, and human trafficking.