The alleged abuse victims of Andrew Tate are being subjected to harassment and intimidation by the accused and his followers in a bid to silence them, according to lawyers.
Speaking at a news conference in central Bucharest, Romania, the lawyers – who represent legal teams from the US and the UK – said they wanted to take a “united stand” against Tate and his followers and address “ongoing attempts to silence those who are speaking out”.
The 36-year-old, a former professional kickboxer, is charged with rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.
One of the legal teams, McCue Jury & Partners, represents women suing Tate in the UK for allegations of rape and physical assault, while the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation’s Law Centre and Laffey Bucci & Kent represent “key witnesses” of the prosecution in the Romania case who Tate is suing in the US for defamation.
Tate’s spokesperson denied the claims made by the lawyers on Thursday.
“These threats will not work, they will not prevent people from coming forward, and they will not prevent courts around the world from hearing their cases,” the lawyers said in a joint statement.
“We encourage people to play their part in stopping the spread of disinformation online and to think carefully about how their words in these spaces can affect people already suffering immensely.”
Four women reported Tate to UK authorities for alleged sexual violence and physical abuse, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute him. Afterwards, the alleged victims turned to crowdfunding to cover their legal costs as they pursue a civil case against him.
In a media letter last month, Tate described the allegations by the women in the UK as “malicious and disputed” and added: “If proceedings are brought, I shall resist any attempt to claim anonymity for all or any of the complainants.”
McCue Jury & Partners said on Thursday that Tate’s letter “was riddled with inaccurate and misleading statements”.
“Tate claimed that there is no UK case against him and that the firm suggested mediation through financial compensation,” the lawyer firm said.
“Unfortunately for Mr Tate, there is absolutely a legal claim being brought in the UK against him. We made clear to Tate that any settlement would have to contain an admission of liability.”
In a separate case, Romanian prosecutors formally indicted Tate in June along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women. All four were arrested in late December and have denied the allegations against them.
In July, the Tate brothers sued a Florida woman, her parents, another woman who lived at the Tates’ estate near Bucharest, and a male friend of the woman. The Tate brothers claimed she falsely accused them of imprisoning her in Romania and are seeking millions in the lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County.
Jillian Roth, of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, said the lawsuit “was filed only with the intent to intimidate, harass and to retaliate against the women who came forward to speak out against their abuse”.
“These women are very afraid, they’re terrified,” Ms Roth said. “They have been threatened, they’ve had people come to their place of work.”
Andrew Tate has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors in Romania have no evidence against him and that there is a political conspiracy designed to silence him. He was previously banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.
Last week, a Bucharest court ruled to ease geographical restrictions on Tate, which means he can travel anywhere in Romania, but he cannot leave the country.