Tenoch Huerta will no longer star in Netflix’s Fiesta en la Madriguera in light of his sexual misconduct scandal.
“Given the impact of the recent false statements by María Elena Ríos and the damage they have caused, I have no choice but to withdraw from participating in the film Fiesta en la Madriguera,” the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actor, 42, told Entertainment Tonight in a statement on Thursday, June 22. “It is with great sadness that I do this, but I cannot allow her actions to harm not only me, but also the work of dozens of talented and hard-working people involved in the project.”
He continued: “My focus now is simple: continue the process of restoring my reputation.”
Fiesta en la Madriguera, which will be directed by Manolo Caro, is based on a screenplay by Birdman’s Nicolás Giacobone and was first announced by Netflix in May. The film, which is slated to debut in 2024, is adapted from Juan Pablo Villalobos’ novel in which child Tochtli urges his father, Yolcaut, to adopt an endangered exotic animal for his private zoo.
Neither Netflix nor the film’s crew have publicly addressed Huerta’s exit, which comes weeks after he was first accused of sexual assault by musician Ríos, 31.
“Why am I late in talking about it? Because I have a process. Why didn’t I report?” the saxophonist wrote on June 11, in Spanish via Twitter. “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.”
After Ríos slammed the Marvel star as a “sexual predator,” he vehemently denied the claims.
“A false and completely unsubstantiated accusation about me has spread like wildfire – and I cannot let it go unchallenged any longer,” Huerta told Us Weekly in a statement earlier this month. “About a year ago, I dated Elena for several months. 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.”
The Narcos: Mexico alum continued: “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. 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.”
If you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).