Andrew Tate’s private group chats revealed as ‘women groomed for sex work’

‘The War Room is all about you getting women that serve you in your life,’ one whistleblower said

Matt Mathers,Martha McHardy
Thursday 31 August 2023 12:48 BST
Andrew Tate makes statement after end of house arrest

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Leaked messages from Andrew Tate’s War Room appear to show members discussing tactics of how to groom women into online sex work.

The messages, sent between March 2019 and April 2020, identify 45 potential victims although the true number is likely to be much higher.

In one message, revealed by the BBC, a person using the alias ‘Iggy Seemelweiss’ writes about removing women’s “entire support structure from her life”.

“Then we punish her for a transgression - real or imagined - by having our name tattooed on her, leaving her family’s home/apartment/town/country, WebCamming/stripping/walking the track for us, getting us girls, escalate, escalate, escalate,” it continues.

Mr Tate has denied any wrongdoing. A spokesperson for Mr Tate said the allegations are “baseless and without merit”.

“Andrew has never engaged in any of the activities or behaviours described in the documentary and whilst he does encourage his supporters to consider joining The Real World and The War Room, he does not take an active leading role in these organisations,” the statement read.

Mr Tate, the 36-year-old former kickboxer and social media influencer, has been charged in Romania with rape and human trafficking.

His brother Tristian and two of Mr Tate’s associates also face charges. They all deny any wrongdoing.

The Leaked online texts - outlined by the BBC in the documentary Andrew Tate: The Man Who Groomed the World? - indicate the War Room, which costs $8,000 (£6,300) a year to join, is run by a group of so-called “generals”, who instruct members to romantically seduce, emotionally manipulate and socially isolate women before luring them into performing on webcams.

Members are taught to do so through the War Room’s so-called “PhD” course - which stands for “Pimpin’ Hoes Degree”.

One message from a “general” included photographs of a woman bent over with serious bruising and cuts to her backside and the tagline “Who me?”.

Andrew Tate, right, and his brother Tristan walk inside the the Court of Appeal building in Bucharest, Romania
Andrew Tate, right, and his brother Tristan walk inside the the Court of Appeal building in Bucharest, Romania (AP)

While another, sent by a leading member who uses the alias “Joe Lampton”, describes hitting a female employee around the head with a keyboard following a complaint she made against him. “I took her keyboard and hit her in the head with it,” the message read. “She went into the room and worked 7 hours without any break.”

Two women, who told the BBC they were exploited by War Room members, said they both initially believed they were in romantic relationships with men from the group, but they were gradually manipulated into sex work through a strategy known as the “loverboy method”.

The women described being subjected to violence, isolated from friends and forced to perform menial tasks to demonstrate their subservience.

One of the women, who goes by the pseudonym “Amanda”, said she was slapped across the face by a “general” and alleged she gave away up to 80% of what she earned at any one time - a total of $95,000 - to two War Room members.

According to leaked texts, War Room members believe they are performing “Pavlovian conditioning” on women through “tests of submission” such as getting women to tattoo the War Room members’ initials on their bodies.

Eli, a former head of sales and marketing at the Tate organisation, told the BBC he was “brainwashed” by the Tate group, which he describes as a “cult”.

“The War Room is all about you getting women that serve you in your life,” he said.

Eli also described the role of self-proclaimed “wizard”, Iggy Semmelweiss, within the War Room, who he said is “at the top”.

Iggy - real name Miles Sonkin - is believed to have met Andrew Tate around 2018, a year before the War Room was established, and is a former member of two alleged cults.

Mr Sonkin’s role is believed to involve sending all new members of the War Room a reading list and a manifesto outlining the group’s agenda.

He did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment when confronted outside his Los Angeles home.

A spokesperson for Andrew Tate told The Independent he “vehemently denies all allegations made in ‘The Man Who Groomed The World’.

“We remain committed to showcasing real-life success stories from our members in The War Room and The Real World. While we have experienced past reluctance from the media to report on these achievements, we want to emphasise that we are open and willing to provide them with firsthand accounts and evidence of the positive impact The War Room and The Real World has had on individuals’ lives. We are here, ready to share these stories whenever the media is ready to listen.”

Andrew Tate: The Man Who Groomed the World? will be aired on BBC Three at 9pm on Thursday and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in