What turned the son of a chess champion into world's most toxic man?

What turned the son of a chess champion and a Luton dinner lady into the world’s most toxic man? BARBARA DAVIES and BARBARA MCMAHON reveal Andrew Tate’s surprising background

Amid the fripperies on show at Andrew Tate’s palatial Romanian mountainside villa, a humble chess board is a stark reminder of the past he has left behind.

By his own admission, the carved set is a nod to the toxic influencer’s late father, an International Chess Master and former U.S. Air Force sergeant who died in 2015.

Heaven knows what that brilliant man, who learned to speak fluent Russian while working in Cold War-era Berlin, would have made of his louche eldest son — arguably both the most loathed and yet, paradoxically, the most popular man on the internet, thanks to his unique brand of misogyny.

Tate, 36, who was raised by his British mother on a council estate in Bedfordshire, has been locked up in a Bucharest prison cell ever since an armed raid on his secret bolthole on the outskirts of Bucharest on December 29.

Amid the fripperies on show at Andrew Tate’s palatial Romanian mountainside villa, a humble chess board is a stark reminder of the past he has left behind

He and his younger brother Tristan, 34, are accused of being part of a human trafficking ring which used violence and psychological pressure to force at least six women to perform in sexually explicit videos which were then sold online. According to Romanian authorities, the pair will be held in custody until the end of January while police continue their investigations.

Back in the UK, two women this week also came forward to accuse Tate of raping and violently abusing them. This stems from a case in 2015 when Tate was arrested for rape and sexual assault while running a webcam sex business out of a dingy flat in Luton.

While Tate denies these allegations, what is not contested is the vile poison that the former kickboxer has been spewing against women via social media platforms, notching up millions of internet followers, not to mention an estimated £100 million fortune, in the process.

Much of that money has been made via his online ‘Hustler’s University’ which, for around £40 a month, offers to help students become as rich as Tate and to ‘free modern man from socially induced incarceration’.

The real mystery lies behind the creation of this ‘king of toxic masculinity’. What could possibly have gone so awry in his past relationships with women, or his upbringing, to create the kind of man who believes that women should ‘bear responsibility’ when men sexually assault them?

By his own admission, the carved chess set is a nod to the toxic influencer’s late father, an International Chess Master and former U.S. Air Force sergeant who died in 2015. Pictured: Young Tate with his father and siblings

An investigation by the Mail this week has uncovered Tate as a complex character, with a highly formative past.

For while on the one hand he is descended from a great-great grandmother freed from slavery at the end of the American Civil War, he is, according to relatives, essentially, a ‘Mummy’s boy’ whose family is torn between bemusement and pride at how he’s turned out.

On the rundown 1970s Luton housing estate where his mother, Eileen, a former school kitchen assistant, still lives, a family friend said: ‘Their mum is proud of Andrew and Tristan, of course she is. Eileen loves her boys.

‘Most probably she doesn’t like what’s going on. What they’ve been accused of is very serious. I don’t think she is happy with what Andrew says, the misogyny.

‘She says he says these things for the response he gets — for the number of hits on the internet.

‘He’s always going on about fast cars and what a man should be, but Eileen didn’t raise him like that. If you say anything to her about it, she’ll say, “That’s my boys.” ’

Indeed, Eileen is said to have been a frequent visitor to her sons’ Romanian hideway, prior to their arrests. According to the friend, Tate’s online persona is nothing like the young man who studied at the town’s Halyard High School, and Luton Sixth Form College, before leaving to become a solar panel salesman.

‘He was not the big “I am,” ’ remembers the friend. ‘None of us would have seen any of this coming. His mum was a kitchen assistant in a school when the children were growing up. She gave them the basics.

‘What he’s saying on social media, that women should stay at home, that all this money makes you a man, is so outdated.

‘I think the whole family is gobsmacked by what’s happened. They don’t know how he’s become this big social media star. The family don’t like to think the worst of him.’

Tate is, according to relatives, essentially, a ‘Mummy’s boy’ whose family is torn between bemusement and pride at how he’s turned out. Pictured: Tate with mother and siblings

Eileen herself was not at home this week. The family friend said she was in the U.S., visiting her daughter. Tate has previously admitted that his sister Janine, a lawyer living in Lexington, Kentucky, is a ‘feminist’ and doesn’t speak to him or his brother.

Eileen met the boys’ American father, Emory Tate Junior, in the mid 1980s, at a Ministry of Defence base, Chicksands in Bedfordshire, which was being used by the U.S. Air Force at the time.

The couple married and moved to Chicago, where their first son was born.

They named him Emory Andrew Tate III, after his father and grandfather, a trailblazing lawyer who was rejected by Harvard Law School but got into university on the back of his service record as a GI during World War II.

Later, the family moved to Berlin where Emory Tate, known as Dennis to his family, served with the 6912th Electronic Security Group at Tegel Airport.

A talented linguist, he learnt Russian for intelligence purposes. He was also U.S. Armed Forces chess champion five times in the 1980s, a record which has still never been beaten.

By the mid 1990s, Emory Tate’s name was known throughout the global chess community.

But while he taught his children the game — Andrew Tate himself has said that he became a chess champion aged five, after beating a 15-year-old in an under-16 competition in the U.S. state of Indiana — he was frequently absent from home, playing hundreds of games in the US and Europe.

He and Eileen divorced in 1997 and she moved with her children back to her hometown, and raised them single-handedly on the Marsh Farm estate, where she still lives. They remained in close contact with their father, right up until his death in the middle of a game at a tournament near San Jose in California in October 2015.

An investigation by the Mail this week has uncovered Tate as a complex character, with a highly formative past 

But this week, Emory Tate’s 65-year-old American cousin, Melvin Cox, told the Mail that the boys’ father ‘wouldn’t have signed off on any of the things they are saying’. Speaking from his home in Montgomery, Alabama, he said: ‘As far as I’m concerned their dad would have respected their business acumen but he wasn’t into misogyny or anything like that. He was a nice guy and a hell of a chess player.

‘Their father had nothing to do with what they were doing. He was never involved in anything they were doing over there, so anything they have created and built up, and the names they have made for themselves, is all about them.

‘Their dad was a totally separate person. He had a wife and kids, he had a military career and he had chess. That was his life. As far as what they have accomplished, I don’t know if their father would be proud of any announcements they’ve made from their soapbox.’

Describing the two brothers as ‘provocateurs and agents of chaos’, he added: ‘What I always thought about the two boys is that they were just in it for the money.

Andrew Tate ‘sex trafficking victim’ was duped into becoming a webcam porn worker with a promise of marriage, Romanian authorities claim 


‘I choose to think that their most outrageous statements are not something they believe in but something they say to get more clicks and more money. I like to think it’s not what makes them tick — it’s just business.

‘They’re not the only ones. People are sheep — but nobody blames the audience.’

By the time Tate and his identical-looking brother were in their early teens they were professional kickboxers. But they were hungry for fame and believed the best way to find it was via reality TV.

Tristan Tate appeared on Channel 4’s ‘castaway’ show Shipwrecked in 2011 alongside serial reality TV star Stephen Bear, another loathsome character who was convicted of sex crimes at Chelmsford Crown Court last month. A 21-year-old Andrew, meanwhile, appeared on the Channel 4 show Ultimate Traveller, in 2010, but did little to distinguish himself from his fellow contestants as they competed for a £10,000 prize by backpacking around Indonesia on a shoestring.

He was forced to leave the show early after developing an eye ulcer, but not before he’d declared for the cameras: ‘I’ve never been in a situation in my 21 years of life where I really wanted something and didn’t get it. My plan is to lie and cheat my way through this competition.’

His next TV appearance was on Channel 5’s Big Brother in 2016 but he was kicked off after a video emerged showing him beating his ex-girlfriend with a belt. At the time he claimed that they were taking part in consensual role play.

But according to reports this week, the real reason for his expulsion was that producers were contacted by Hertfordshire Police and told about their ongoing sexual assault investigation, concerning two women working in the webcam business in Luton. Even so, it took five days to remove him, during which time he was seen playing truth or dare in the hot tub and kissing one of the female contestants.

Officers took four years to pass their investigation to the CPS, who ultimately declined to prosecute Tate.

This week, Hertfordshire Police acknowledged that there were ‘some delays to the investigation’, adding: ‘This was addressed at the time and apologies were made.’

The CPS said that it ‘carefully reviewed the evidence’ but concluded that it ‘did not meet our legal test’ — despite the fact that one of the women was witness to the other’s rape.

Disturbingly, however, the women’s claims of abuse, while being paid £15-an-hour to work for Tate’s webcam sex business, are the same as the claims for which Tate is now being investigated.

Romanian authorities are probing allegations that Tate and his brother lured women to their £600,000 complex using what is known as the ‘loverboy method’, falsely claiming to be in love with impressionable young women and using emotional and physical control to force them to take part in porn videos.

One of the women, calling herself Sally, claimed in Vice World News that she was strangled by Tate on at least five occasions and saw him choke other women on at least ten occasions. She said she and another girl would wake up with marks around their eyes caused by burst blood vessels.

Tate has boasted openly about the ‘loverboy’ approach on since-deleted sections of his website. His online course the ‘Pimpin’ Hoes Degree’ instructed men how to recruit women for webcam work using manipulation.

‘My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality. Get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together.’

It’s ‘instructional’ videos like these that educationists have warned are fuelling vile sexism and misogyny, disguised as male ‘self-help’ among a generation of impressionable teenage boys.

For while British parents are unlikely to have heard of Tate until the dramatic events of the past week, millions of youngsters have become obsessed with his monied lifestyle, which is regularly paraded via online images of the man himself, clad in designer clothes, travelling on board private jets or in million-pound sports cars, accompanied by beautiful women and bundles of cash.

His message is as simple as it is dangerous: if men follow his example, they too can have his life.

His move to Romania, he admitted, was partly to escape liberal Western society, where sexual assault claims against men were taken more seriously.

‘In eastern Europe, none of this garbage flies,’ he said in one video clip. ‘If you go to the police and say “He raped me back in 1988”, they’ll say “Well you should have done something about it then.” ’

The last time Melvin Cox saw his cousin’s sons was in October 2015, at Emory Tate’s funeral which, he says, was a ‘celebration’ of his life.

Afterwards, Andrew Tate, then still focused on his career as a kick boxer, said: ‘My dad taught me everything. Absolutely everything. And my fighting style in the ring mimics his on the board.’

He once described his father as ‘a man who was at home in his own skin. He didn’t need or want a car or a little garden to feel at home. He was happy anywhere . . . he didn’t have a lot of material possessions but he was a genius. Make no mistake — not only in chess, at everything.’

The life he has chosen for himself couldn’t be more different.

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