That Escalated Quickly
Did Greta Thunberg troll Andrew Tate into getting arrested? Here's a timeline.

Did Greta Thunberg Troll Andrew Tate Into Getting Arrested?

An investigation.

Tim Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

At 19 years old, environmental activist Greta Thunberg has plenty of accomplishments to her name, including being TIME’s person of the year in 2019 and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Her latest headline-making move is more surprising: On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Thunberg was pulled into a Twitter exchange with controversial social media personality Andrew Tate — which was all interrupted when Tate was arrested and detained in Romania on Thursday, Dec. 29. From a quick look at the tweets, you might think Greta Thunberg trolled Andrew Tate into getting himself arrested. To get a full understanding, here’s a full breakdown of what happened.

It all started when Tate, a former professional kickboxer who has been known to make misogynistic and sexist comments online, tweeted at Thunberg on Dec. 27 to highlight his collection of 33 cars, including their capability for carbon emissions. “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions,” he wrote in the tweet. It’s not clear what his intention was beyond needling her on a cause she’s been vocal about, as Thunberg has long called to cut carbon emissions in the interest of fighting climate change. But he got the activist’s attention: From there, the two exchanged a few heated tweets — including a video from Tate that featured some pizza boxes — before the 36-year-old was reportedly arrested and detained in Romania on charges of rape and human trafficking, per The New York Times. In response to the reported arrest and allegations, a representative for Tate told Elite Daily in email, “This a Matrix attack.” Tate also tweeted from his official account on Dec. 30: “The Matrix sent their agents.”

To get a better understanding of how everything went down, here’s a timeline of Andrew Tate’s beef with Greta Thunberg.

Elon Musk Unbans Andrew Tate From Twitter

Prior to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover on Oct. 27, Andrew Tate’s Twitter account had been permanently banned for violating the site’s rules. However, under Musk’s leadership, a number of controversial accounts which had been banned were restored: According to CNET, Musk reinstated Tate’s account some time in late November 2022, as well as several other formerly-banned accounts, including Donald Trump.

Andrew Tate Tweets At Greta Thunberg

On Dec. 27, Tate tweeted a seemingly out-of-the-blue message to Thunberg, writing, “I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start.” Tate went on to ask the climate activist for her contact info, saying, “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”

Greta Thunberg Replies To Andrew Tate’s Tweet

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, Thunberg quote retweeted Tate’s initial tweet and replied, “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at” Something tells me any messages sent to this email address will bounce back.

Andrew Tate Posts Response Video

Hours after Thunberg replied, Tate quote tweeted her response on Dec. 28, writing, “Thank you for confirming via your email address that you have a small penis @GretaThunberg the world was curious. And I do agree you should get a life,” with a heart emoji at the end.

Tate also included a two minute-long video in which he can be seen sitting at a table in a red robe and smoking a cigar. In the video, Tate said he didn’t film it because he’s mad at Thunberg — he even went so far as to call himself a “stranger to online controversies” and claimed this is something he doesn’t often do. Likely referencing laudatory responses to Thunberg’s SDE email tweet, Tate said the video was in response to the “global Matrix,” which made it seem like Thunberg’s response “somehow teaches [him] a lesson.”

Halfway through the video, Tate tells someone off-screen to bring him some pizza, “and make sure these boxes are not recycled,” an apparent dig at Thunberg’s climate activism. From off camera, an assistant places two boxes from a restaurant called Jerry’s Pizza on the table.

Authorities Arrest Andrew Tate

According to The New York Times, Tate and his brother Tristan were arrested in Romania on Dec. 29 on allegations of rape and human trafficking, just one day after the response video was posted to Twitter. Per the Times, authorities were investigating whether the Tate brothers, as well as two other detained suspects, created a “criminal group in 2021 to engage in human trafficking in Romania, the United States, and Britain.” On Dec. 30, The New York Times reported that Tate and three others had been charged with human trafficking, rape, and forming an organized criminal group, and a judge ordered them held in Romanian police custody for 30 days. Per Reuters, Tate's lawyer Eugen Constantin Vidineac told reporters on Dec. 30, “From our perspective, there are no grounds ... for taking this most drastic preventive measure, but it is the judge's prerogative.”

After word of his detention got out, people began to speculate on Twitter about whether or not the video, specifically the boxes from Jerry’s Pizza — a pizza chain local to Romania — helped authorities track down Tate’s location.

Though it’s fun to imagine this as some kind of karmic downfall from bragging on Twitter, that doesn’t seem to the case. In a Dec. 30 statement to the Associated Press, Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for the Romanian anti-organized crime agency Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), refuted claims that the pizza boxes played a part in Tate’s detention, calling the theory “funny, but no.”

In a Dec. 29 press release, DIICOT said the suspects were on their radar since the beginning of 2021, and the video wasn’t the first time Tate has posted about Romania — or leaked his whereabouts. On Sunday, Dec. 25, two days before the feud began, the influencer posted a video showing the scenery around him with the caption, “Romania.” Subtle.

Greta Thunberg Responds To Andrew Tate’s Arrest

To put a perfectly-tied biodegradable ribbon on the saga, Thunberg tweeted the clapback to end all clapbacks on Dec. 30. “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” she wrote.

OK, so maybe Thunberg isn’t responsible for Tate’s arrest, but her Twitter takedowns of Tate were enough for people to throw credit her way.