“Black Panther” actor Tenoch Huerta denies sexual assault allegations

Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta has denied sexual assault allegations made against him by musician María Elena Ríos. 

The actor, best known for his role as villain Namor in 2022’s blockbuster Marvel movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” posted a statement in both Spanish and English to his Instagram stories on Monday calling the allegations made by Ríos on Sunday “false and completely unsubstantiated.”

He added that the accusations have “spread like wildfire — and I cannot let it go unchallenged any longer.”

“About a year ago, I dated Elena for several months,” Huerta wrote. “It was entirely consensual at all times, as countless others can attest. And throughout it was a loving, warm and mutually supportive relationship. After it ended, however, Elena began to misrepresent our interactions both privately and in front of groups of mutual friends.

“As a result, a few months ago, I engaged a legal team to commence the appropriate actions to protect my reputation and refute these irresponsible and false accusations that can cause great prejudice and damage,” he continued. “Although I am by no means perfect, I know that these allegations are simply untrue. And while I will always work to improve myself, I need to contest claims that are both false and offensive.”

His statement came after Ríos, a Mexican saxophonist and feminist activist, accused Huerta of being a “sexual predator” on Twitter on Sunday. 

“It is very difficult to talk about the emotional abuse and abuse of power of a sexual predator who is loved in the world for playing a character in a movie like @TenochHuerta,” she tweeted in Spanish.”Charming in appearance, the great hallmark of a narcissist + a good helping of victimization.”

Ríos —who in September 2019 survived an acid attack by men she believes were following orders of an ex-boyfriend— said she didn’t report the abuse because she was afraid people would refuse to believe her.

“Why am I late in talking about it? Because I have a process,” she said in a follow-up tweet that showed vitriolic and threatening messages she received after she accused Huerta. “Why didn’t I report? Because I was afraid that this would happen: people who refuse to believe that a SUPER HERO is an abuser, manipulator, and sexual predator. Yes, you @TenochHuerta abuse because you know you have power.”

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