- Andrew Tate’s bodyguard described life in his entourage in an interview while his boss is in jail.
- Bogdan Stancu said Tate’s Bucharest house thronged with women who thought they would marry him.
- Fooling women with a fake relationship is part of the “loverboy method” authorities say Tate used.
Bogdan Stancu, who has worked at Tate’s compound in Bucharest, Romania for two years, told the outlet the women around Tate thought they would marry him.
“Some of the girls misunderstood the reality and believed [they would] be his next wife,” he said, describing their delusion.
Stancu speculated, without giving specific evidence, that this could have led to the allegations against Tate.
“When they realized the reality, it’s easy to transform from a friend into an enemy, and make a statement to the police,” he told the BBC.
Stancu also told the BBC that he continues to support Tate, who is in jail while Romanian police continue to investigate him.
There is another way to interpret Stancu’s description of the women in Tate’s circle. Wrongly believing you are in a relationship with somebody is a common feature of a type of human trafficking, which Romanian prosecutors have said Tate employed.
They said he used the so-called “loverboy” strategy to manipulate women into creating porn for his online business.
Romania’s DIICOT investigations agency arrested Tate, his brother Tristan, and two Romanian women on December 29 for forming a criminal group. They face allegations of human trafficking and rape.
A press release by DIICOT posted after Tate’s arrest cited the “loverboy” method, which Umar Zeb, a senior partner at the law firm J D Spicer Zeb Solicitors, told Insider is common in trafficking cases.
It works by “ensnaring vulnerable victims,” Zeb said, and “tricking them into believing they are entering into a loving relationship.”
“Once the victims have essentially fallen in love, they are then coerced into various exploitative measures, including human trafficking for the sex industry,” he said.
Tate has openly described how he recruited women for his business, in terms that closely resemble the loverboy method.
For example, on his now-deleted website, he said he would get women to fall in love with him so “she’d do anything I say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together.”
Social media has played a huge part in enabling traffickers in the past few years, Zeb said when he spoke to Insider earlier for an article earlier in January.
“Not only can victims be sourced more widely due to the reach, the methods of coercion have changed,” he said.
“What used to be a long-con, practiced over a lengthy time period, has now become a much quicker form of entrapment, as victims are threatened through blackmail, for example exposure of pornographic images, and violence.”
Stancu told the BBC he would “never doubt Andrew” and called the women who have come forward with allegations “young and stupid.”
Tate’s lawyer Eugen Vidineac maintains that his clients are innocent, and disputes that there is any evidence against them.
Vidineac also told Romanian outlet Gândul that Tate is not the “violent, uneducated, abusive character” he is thought to be, and argued what he has said on social media should not be used as evidence against him.