Tenoch Huerta, best known for playing the villainous Namor in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is firing back against a sexual assault allegation made against him by musician María Elena Ríos. In a statement sent to Variety and published on his Instagram, Huerta called Ríos’ claims “false and completely unsubstantiated,” adding, “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.”
Ríos, a saxophonist and activist, publicly accused Huerta of sexual assault in a Twitter thread in which she called the Marvel actor a “sexual predator.”
Huerta added in his statement: “I am deeply grateful to my family and the people who have supported me and greatly appreciate everyone who is willing to look at the facts and reflect before rushing to an untrue and unjust conclusion.”
Marvel has yet to confirm when Huerta’s Namor will re-appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following his debut in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” A representative for Marvel has not responded to Variety’s requests for comment.
Additional reporting by Adam B. Vary.