Over the weekend, musician and activist María Elena Ríos accused Tenoch Huerta, who broke out in last year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as Namor, of being a “violator and sexual predator” and said he sexually assaulted her, which the actor denied this morning.
Ríos shared the allegations in a series of tweets on Friday, following the release of a podcast from activicist organization Poder Prieto on which Ríos was featured. Huerta is a spokesperson for the organization, and Ríos claimed the episode was released without her consent and that she was made to work for free.
Poder Prieto later said that it did not produce the podcast, but rather simply recommended it along with other content, according to the LA Times. Afterwords, Ríos accused the organization of protecting a “sexual predator” in Huerta. When one person asked Ríos if Huerta had sexually assaulted her, Ríos said he had.
“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 Tenoch Huerta,” she also tweeted.
Disney has not yet responded to IGN’s request for comment about the allegations.
Huerta, for his part, responded with a statement sent to press and posted on his Instagram on Monday, beginning that “a false and completely unsubstantiated accusation about me has spread like wildfire – and I cannot let it go unchallenged any longer.”
The actor said he had dated Ríos about a year ago for several months and that it “was entirely consensual at all times.” After the relationship ended, however, Huerta claimed Ríos began to “misrepresent our interactions.”
“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.”
Huerta is only the latest Marvel star to find himself in controversy in recent months. Back in March, Jonathan Majors, who played Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and is set to play a large role in the MCU moving forward, was arrested under charges of strangulation, assault, and harassment, charges that his legal team has repeatedly denied.
Thumbnail credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.