Viewers have complained about an interview with Andrew Tate where he called one of his alleged victims “imaginary”.

The controversial social media influencer also claimed the legal case against him has been “utterly fabricated” in a highly combative interview broadcast by BBC News.

Dr Charlotte Proudman, director of women’s organisation Right to Equality, said dismissing the alleged victim’s claims as “imaginary” is a “slap in the face” for survivors.

Senior partner at McAllister Olivarius law firm, Dr Ann Olivarius, said dismissing critics as “not existing” is “more than a little cultish”, writing on Twitter.

Mr Tate, 36, is currently under house arrest in Romania with his brother Tristan facing charges of rape, human trafficking and organised crime.

Viewers have taken to social media in support of one of his alleged victims, given the pseudonym Sophie, who spoke to BBC Radio 4 in February about her experience with Mr Tate.

She claimed that she followed him to Romania under the guise of love, only to be pressured into working as a cam girl and getting his name tattooed on her body.

In the interview with BBC, Mr Tate accused the BBC of “inventing” Sophie and her testimony.

“Has she accused me of a crime, this imaginary Sophie?” he asked BBC journalist Lucy Williamson multiple times, raising his voice.

“This Sophie, which the BBC invented, which there’s no face of, nobody knows who she is,” he added.

He dismissed the claims of the woman being emotionally manipulated into the sex industry for his financial gain as “absolute garbage”.

Dr Proudman, from Right to Equality, criticised the BBC for giving Mr Tate a platform by airing the interview.

“The BBC aired Andrew Tate’s comment that an abuse victim’s allegations against him are ‘imaginary’ which is tantamount to gaslighting if he is found guilty,” she told i.

“Where is the duty of care for victims? I am deeply concerned about the impact of this on victims more broadly who may feel that platforming an extreme misogynist accused of violent acts towards women is a slap in the face for them.”

She said survivors have told her they feel “re-traumatised” by seeing Mr Tate “minimising his abusive behaviour”.

“A survivor of rape told me she felt triggered, and couldn’t help but imagine her rapist sitting in his position,” Dr Proudman said.

“Why is the media giving airtime to men accused of heinous acts rather than survivors whose voices are rarely heard?” she asked.

Domestic abuse campaigner, David Challen, commented on the interview on Twitter, criticising Mr Tate’s dismissal of some of his comments as “jokes”.

He wrote: “In an interview with the BBC Andrew Tate says he’s against any form of abuse but at the same time some of his comments are ‘jokes’ and ‘satirical content’.

“The man who refutes manipulating women sure is trying to manipulate this female journalist.”

In the interview in his home, Mr Tate dismissed the criminal allegation against him, saying: “I’m never going to be found guilty of anything.”

He claimed to be “actually such a nice person” and a “force for good” who is “acting under the instruction of God to do good things”.

Campaign groups have claimed Mr Tate’s views make him a danger to young men and boys who see his content online, while the National Education Union’s (NEU) annual conference heard pupils are becoming misogynistic because of him.

Told about this, he responded: “That’s very upsetting and the reason that’s very upsetting is because I know that’s not true, I’m genuinely a good person. I believe my impact on the world is positive.”

The former kickboxer added: “I preach hard work, discipline, I’m an athlete, I preach anti-drug, I preach religion, I preach no alcohol, I preach no knife crime, every single problem with modern society I’m against.

“I’m teaching young men to be disciplined, to be diligent, to listen, to train, to work hard, to be exactly like me.”

Following the arrest of the Tate brothers and two Romanian women in December, the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism of the country stated that it had discovered six individuals who were supposedly victims of human trafficking.

These victims were reportedly subjected to physical violence, mental manipulation, and sexual exploitation.

According to the agency, the victims were initially enticed with promises of affection and later subjected to intimidation, surveillance, and other controlling tactics.

Allegedly, they were coerced into participating in pornographic activities, with the aim of generating financial gain for the criminal organisation.

Tate asserts that the Romanian prosecutors lack evidence, accusing them of orchestrating a political conspiracy to silence him.

By admin