Lawyers for alleged abuse victims of Andrew Tate, the social media influencer charged with rape and human trafficking, said Thursday that the accused and his followers are trying to intimidate their clients into silence.
Speaking at a news conference held at a central Bucharest hotel the lawyers, who represent a legal team from the United States and another from the United Kingdom, 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 Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is also charged in Romania with forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. He has amassed 8 million followers on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
One of the legal teams, McCue Jury & Partners, represents women suing Tate in the U.K. for allegations of rape and physical assault, while the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center and Laffey Bucci & Kent, represent "key witnesses" of the prosecution in the Romania case whom Tate is suing in the U.S. 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 had reported Tate to the U.K. authorities for alleged sexual violence and physical abuse, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute him. Afterward, the alleged victims turned to crowdfunding to cover their legal costs as they pursue a civil case against him.
"We handed over our evidence about the horrific acts of violence we endured and waited for action. But four years later we were told the UK authorities would not prosecute him," they state on their campaign page, which has so far raised £30,000 of their £50,000 ($60,000) target. "It's our one remaining route to hold him accountable."
In a media letter last month, Tate described the allegations by the women in Britain as "malicious and disputed" and said that "if proceedings are brought, I shall resist any attempt to claim anonymity for all or any of the complainants."
The legal firm McCue Jury & Partners who represents the women, however, claimed on Thursday that Tate's letter "was riddled with inaccurate and misleading statements."
"Tate claimed that there is no U.K. 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 U.K. 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.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center, which is repressing witnesses in the Romania case, said that since the Tate brothers' compound was raided by authorities last year, the brothers and their associates "have been maliciously harassing and threatening our clients."
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 at least $5 million in the lawsuit, which was filed in Palm Beach County.
Jillian Roth, of the law firm Laffey, Bucci & Kent, said that 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," 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 for hate speech.
Last week, a Bucharest court ruled to ease geographical restrictions on Tate, which means he can now travel anywhere in Romania. Prior to that decision, he was restricted to Bucharest Municipality and the nearby Ilfov County unless he obtained prior approval from a judge. Still, he cannot leave the country.
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