Influencer Andrew Tate’s custody extended for third time in Romanian detention

Controversial influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will remain in custody in Romania until at least the end of March after their detention was extended for a third time. The pair were arrested in December on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group. They have denied any wrongdoing.

Georgiana Naghel and Luana Radu, two Romanian women being held with the brothers, will be released from custody and instead kept under house arrest. Prosecutors applied for the latest extension earlier this week, with judges justifying the previous extension by citing the capacity of “the defendants to exercise permanent psychological control over the victims”.

Last week, the Tate brothers threatened legal action against at least one woman making rape and human trafficking claims against him. In a “cease-and-desist” letter sent by a US lawyer on their behalf, the pair threatened to sue the woman and her parents for $300m (£249m) if she did not retract her statements. Lawyers for the Tates told journalists that no new evidence was presented at the hearing, and that the prosecutors’ case did not support the brothers’ continued detention.

Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer, rose to fame in 2016 when he was removed from British TV show Big Brother over a video which appeared to show him attacking a woman. He has gained notoriety online, with Twitter banning him for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted. Despite social media bans, he has gained popularity, particularly among young men, by promoting what he presented as a hyper-masculine, ultra-luxurious lifestyle.

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