When Andrew Tate bought his first mobile phone aged 14 from money earned at his uncle’s fish business, there was little to hint he would one day be worth millions.
But the controversial former kick-boxing champion – currently detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking investigation – claims he is now a ‘trillionaire’.
His misogynistic TikTok videos, which have racked up more than 11.6billion views, have seen him amass a fortune.
In fact Tate, 36, claims to be worth £100million and is frequently seen showing off his money in expensive cars, private jets and designer clothes.
Andrew Tate, who has now left the UK to live permanently in Romania, is said to be worth as much as £100m as he monetises the global attention that TikTok has brought him
Tate’s fortune came from crypto-currency and his online ‘Hustler’s Academy’ is where 127,000 mostly men and boys pay him £39 a month for tips on getting rich and dealing with life
His fortune is also thought to have grown through crypto-currency trading.
And his online ‘Hustler’s Academy’ is where 127,000 mostly men and boys pay him £39 a month for tips on getting rich and dealing with life is another income stream.
On a Twitch stream with Adin Ross, Tate told the host: ‘I don’t want to brag, but I’m a trillionaire, world’s first.
‘I was broke for a long time. I made my first million when I was, say, 27 and then I had 100 million by the time I was 31, and then I became a trillionaire quite recently.’
Companies House documents show that despite living in Romania, he has recently become director of two firms in the UK.
One is a car dealership based in Preston, while the other appears to be car leasing and events company. Neither appear to make huge amounts of money – at least according to the most recent accounts.
The 36-year-old shot to fame for his outlandish views and once starred on Big Brother
MailOnline previously disclosed Tate’s upbringing in the UK and how he split his extended family between those who regard his self-promotion as harmless – and those who think it’s sickening.
In August Tate’s mother, Eileen Tate, still lived in the same end-of-terrace house worth £275,000.
It belongs to a housing association on a Luton council estate where she moved with her three children from Chicago in the late 1990s.
Tate is understood to be very close to his brother Tristan, 34, who moved to Romania with him – but he has no relationship with younger sister Janine who is a lawyer in Kentucky, US.
He said: ‘I have a sister. My sister and I don’t really talk.’ Andrew and Tristan have described her as a ‘feminist’ which is thought to be an admission that she disapproves of his views.
Tate and his brother Tristan idolise their father who passed away in 2015. Their father (pictured with his children) was a high level chess player, who earned the nickname ‘extraterrestrial’ because his play was said to be out of this world. He won 80 games against grandmasters over his career and was six times champion of Nevada and five time US Armed Forces champion
Tate showed money-making tendencies from a young age, working for his uncle’s fish business and buying his first mobile phone when he was 14. After leaving school he went into sales where he earned commission on windows and solar panels, bought himself a motorbike and began training as a kickboxer at Luton’s Storm Gym. He excelled and went on to become a world champion, but it is his business with his brother Tristan (pictured together) and his posts that have proved controversial
His father Emory Tate, who died in 2015, was a high level chess player, who earned the nickname ‘extraterrestrial’ because his play was said to be out of this world. He won 80 games against grandmasters over his career and was six times champion of Nevada and five time US Armed Forces champion.
Like his son would grow up to be, Emory was a prolific and controversial social media user, posting outspoken content on Facebook which was highly critical of American foreign policy, before he died suddenly from a heart attack seven years ago.
Mrs Tate brought her children up in relative poverty after moving to the Bedfordshire town when Tate was aged 11.
Tate – whose full name, after his father, is Emory Andrew Tate III – was soon showing the money-making tendencies that have recently seen him come to mainstream attention.
One relative said: ‘I remember when he was 14 he was earning money working at his uncle’s fish business and he had bought himself his first mobile phone. It wasn’t much but he loved it.
‘Then one day these three guys from the Marsh Farm estate jumped him for it. These were not lads to be messed with but Andrew took care of all three of them quite easily.
‘At that stage he hadn’t done any kickboxing, he just had a punchbag set up in the back garden.
‘He was always very sure of himself. He didn’t ever want to be in a gang. He’s an individual and certainly not someone to start a fight, he’d stop fights not start them.’
After leaving school he went into sales where he earned commission on windows and solar panels, bought himself a motorbike and began training as a kickboxer at Luton’s Storm Gym.
As his internet fame grew he left Britain with his brother Tristan (pictured together as young boys) to set up in Romania where he continued to build an online audience. He is now said to have bought three casinos in the capital Bucharest
Tate (pictured) is a prolific social media personality – who boasts his lavish lifestyle online
He excelled and went on to become a world champion in the sport but it is his post kick-boxing role as an influencer on social media that has proved highly controversial.
In 2016 he was thrown out of the Big Brother house after a video emerged of him appearing to hit a former girlfriend with a belt. She later stated it was consensual and that he remained a friend.
Associations of this kind have seen some members of his wider family stop talking to him and those who approve of him.
One relative told us: ‘We don’t even speak to Andrew Tate or that side of the family. They don’t speak to their nan. They are abroad doing whatever they are doing and we want nothing to do with them.’
Andrew and Tristan Tate are escorted by police officers outside the headquarters of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism in Bucharest (DIICOT)
And others said they didn’t want to be publicly associated with Tate because of his toxic views.
His comments about mental health – he described people who feel they need therapy as ‘useless’ – offended one uncle who told us: ‘I was surprised by his negative comments about mental health. His dad had mental health problems so that seemed a very stupid thing for him to say.
‘I think he does it to play the game. I told my sister that he shouldn’t have said about mental health and she said that’s Andrew all over.
‘He thinks it is a weakness to talk about mental health but we all know it ain’t because maybe 70 per cent of us will suffer from mental health things at some point and need an arm round the shoulder. I think that was Andrew overdoing his bravado bit.’
But many other relatives in and around Luton appear to regard Tate as simply a working-class boy made good whose sharp mind has earned him a fortune said to be as high as £90million.
One relative, challenged over Andrew’s misogynistic comments, replied: ‘Look, the only people getting upset about this sort of thing are the woke snowflakes. It’s just words and Andrew has done nothing wrong.’
Another uncle, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He’s the most self-assured person I have ever met but he’s not a bad character. He’s got a good heart on him.
‘He’s just a very successful self-publicist and I don’t know if there is any more to it than that. He is clearly very good at manipulating the system and he knows what will get him attention.
‘He has always treated my sister, his mum, really well and that counts for a lot.’
Whilst some of his family insist that this sort of talk is done simply to attract attention, others insist it represents the real Andrew.
Asked about his nephew being described as the ‘scariest man on the internet’, one uncle by marriage hit back defensively: ‘He is the most honest man on the internet. He calls everything as he sees it and he’s exactly like he is on the internet – that’s him. I may not like it, you may not like it but he believes what he says.’
The woman who perhaps knows more than anyone about Tate, his mother, refused to comment – but her modest domestic circumstances suggest she has not benefited from her son’s newfound immense wealth. However, it’s unclear if this is because she’s refused to take his money or that he hasn’t offered.
After his fighting career and failed Big Brother bid it might have appeared Tate would disappear into total obscurity but soon his controversial libertarian ideas spouted on social media were attracting admiration from the likes of Donald Trump Jnr, Nigel Farage and fellow Lutonian Tommy Robinson.
As his internet fame grew he left Britain with his brother Tristan to set up in Romania where he continued to build an online audience. He is now said to have bought three casinos in the capital Bucharest.
He was banned several times from Twitter after stating that victims of sexual assault should share ‘responsibility’ for their fate and mocking those seeking mental health support as ‘useless’.
It’s unclear why the Tate brothers chose to move to Romania as they have no known prior links to the country.
Tate himself appears keen to move on from his time in Luton. One relative said: ‘He comes to the country quite often but they come in by private jet, buy some cars and go. We don’t see much of him.’
And another uncle admitted it was four years since he saw him: ‘We’ve not seen him for some time. When he does come he is not arrogant or anything like that. We’ll go out for a meal, he’ll buy the drinks, pay the taxis home and treat us all very well.’