Controversial influencer Andrew Tate is suing a Florida woman, saying she lied when she accused him of human trafficking.
Tate, who has been charged in Romania with human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group, claims the woman’s false accusations led to his arrest.
Tate’s brother Tristan also faces human trafficking and organised crime charges, alongside a charge of inciting others to violence.
The brothers are seeking at least $5m (£3.8m) in their lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the woman, her parents, another woman who lived at the Tates’ estate and a male friend of the woman.
The Tates say the five conspired to falsely accuse them of human trafficking and rape, costing them their freedom and millions of dollars in income from their lucrative social media, podcasting and business ventures.
They were first arrested at a property in Bucharest in December last year and held in custody until March, when they were released under house arrest.
The brothers are accused of tricking seven women into sexual exploitation on fake promises of a relationship, forcing them into pornography and subjecting them to physical violence.
But the Tates’ lawyers claim the brothers are victims of the Florida woman, calling her “a professional con artist”.
The lawsuit claims she pursued a sexual relationship with Tristan Tate in order to move to Romania, then tried to defraud the brothers.
When that failed, she conspired with the others to make false statements to Romanian and US embassy authorities that led to the arrests, the lawyers say.
“At no point did the Tate brothers engage in human trafficking,” the lawsuit says.
The lawyers say the woman “is a serial liar, manipulator and schemer who exploits vulnerable, often wealthy men with good intentions for sexual, financial and emotional profit”.
Romanian investigators have said the women living at the Tates’ Bucharest estate were allegedly controlled by “intimidation, constant surveillance” and claims they were in debt.
The lawsuit says the women living at the Tates’ estate were free to come and go as they pleased, and claims Tristan Tate only paid for the Florida woman’s flight to Romania “in the spirit of fun and adventure” after discussing her modelling plans.
The brothers allege she conspired with a British woman at the estate to defraud them of $200,000 (£152,000) by falsely claiming they needed it for “something important” and went to the US embassy with trafficking claims when that plan failed.
That led Romanian officials to raid the home where she was staying, beginning the investigation into the Tates, the lawsuit says.