We don’t want to give him publicity, but it’s important to learn from him
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or unable to go online due to load shedding!), you will have heard of Andrew Tate. If you hadn’t heard of him before his arrest – and, despite his celebrity status on TikTok, many people outside a certain demographic hadn’t – you’ve certainly heard of him now. Tate and his brother Tristan are currently in jail in Romania as part of an investigation into human trafficking, rape, and organised crime. Since his arrest, more details about his sordid activities and attitude have emerged. He is an extreme misogynist who has also posted racist and homophobic content on his Twitter account. He not only hates women, he encourages men to behave in a toxic, violent manner.
We’ve been studying the news coverage of Tate, including an interview given to the BBC by a former girlfriend, and it is clear that he is a classic narcissist who engages in coercive control. Why are we even giving him the oxygen of publicity? Because we have written a lot about these topics. As family lawyers, we unfortunately see the impact of narcissism and controlling behaviour on (mostly) women and relationships all too often. It is a frequent factor in divorce cases. We’ve posted numerous articles on traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), the different types of narcissism (grandiose or covert), dealing with – and divorcing – a narcissist, and co-parenting with a narcissist. All our articles are founded on evidence, but most discuss the concepts, rather than real people. In Andrew Tate we have an opportunity to give a real-life example of what an extreme narcissist looks like.
A woman calling herself “Sophie”, to protect her anonymity, was Tate’s girlfriend for a while. She gave an interview to the BBC in the UK and said that he approached her on Facebook “out of the blue” and was very charming. Narcissists are always charming in the beginning. She went on to say, “He was sort of luring me into believing that he was somebody that I could trust and someone that genuinely wanted to build a connection with me.” This is also entirely typical of a narcissist. Later, he asked Sophie to work for him in his webcam business – adult entertainment chat rooms. His initial requests soon became a means to undermine her: “If you love me, you would do it. If you care about me, you would do it,” until eventually she thought, “Maybe he’s right, maybe I should be doing it.” He pocketed 50% of her earnings from the webcam work.
Eventually Tate’s exploitation of Sophie became something much worse. He began to control her behaviour and her movements, even fining her if she went out without his agreement. He became violent, both emotionally and physically, and ultimately sexually. Sophie did not consent to the violent sex. But she wanted to please him and make him happy. This is also typical of the victims of narcissistic abuse. They are so dehumanised by the abuse that their self-esteem hits rock bottom, and they only feel validated if they please their abuser.
“He is a narcissist”
Sophie managed to escape the relationship. She realised that “constantly feeling inferior to him” could not be right. Many people do not have this moment of enlightenment and stay in narcissistic relationships. Sophie told the BBC, “I realised I couldn’t live like that anymore and that it wasn’t normal. I just had to get away from it. I remember being at work and I was just so overwhelmed and I’d never felt a darkness like it.”
Sophie’s final words on the subject were, “He’s very manipulative, he totally lacks any kind of empathy. He is a narcissist, he’s like that 100%. I don’t think he’s emotionally capable of feeling love, for anyone or anything, even his family, even his brother – there’s just nothing. In the space in our brains where we feel love and compassion and empathy… [in his] it’s just a hole, there’s nothing there.” This description is echoed by experts in psychology. Dr Ramani Durvasala, a clinical psychologist who specialises in narcissism, says that narcissism is about entitlement, arrogance, and a lack of empathy. Ultimately, the narcissist just doesn’t care about other people. She also says that social media has been an enabler for narcissists, and this is certainly true of Andrew Tate. Ultimately, narcissists will not change. It is too early to tell what will happen to Andrew Tate through the courts, but we hope he will be prevented from perpetrating his narcissistic abuse on any more women for a long time to come.
If this is all too familiar, we can help
SD Law & Associates are experts in divorce and family law and have dealt with many cases of narcissistic abuse in intimate relationships. If you are living with a narcissistic spouse and considering divorce, or just want to discuss your options, we can guide you through the process with compassion and dignity. Contact Simon on 086 099 5146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential discussion.
- Getting away with murder?
- Dealing with a narcissist
- Divorcing a narcissist
- What is a “dark empath”?
- Narcissistic abuse – What is it and how do you handle it?
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