Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta, known for his role in the movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is denying allegations of abuse made by musician María Elena Ríos. Ríos, who is also an activist and survivor of an acid attack, shared the accusations on social media, alleging emotional and sexual abuse. Huerta responded by calling the allegations false and unsubstantiated.
The allegations came to light when Ríos posted about them on Twitter, stating that it was difficult to talk about the emotional abuse and abuse of power by someone who is loved worldwide for their role in a movie. Ríos described Huerta as charming in appearance but accused him of being a narcissist and a sexual predator.
In response, Huerta released a statement to NBC News, categorizing the allegations as false and completely without evidence. He expressed his disappointment that such accusations had spread rapidly and vowed to challenge them. Huerta claimed that he had been in a consensual and loving relationship with Ríos for several months and that their breakup had led Ríos to misrepresent their interactions to mutual friends.
Ríos addressed skeptics who questioned why she had chosen to speak up about the alleged abuse now. She explained that reporting such incidents in a chauvinistic society where justice is elusive is incredibly challenging. Ríos also shared screenshots of hateful messages she had received on Instagram following her accusations, highlighting the fear she had of not being believed due to Huerta’s popularity as a superhero in the movie.
Huerta acknowledged that he was not perfect but insisted that the allegations against him were untrue. He revealed that he had taken legal action to protect his reputation and to refute what he deemed as irresponsible and false accusations that could cause significant harm. Representatives from Marvel and Disney, the parent company of Marvel and distributor of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” did not comment on the situation.
Huerta’s portrayal of Namor in the highly anticipated film garnered widespread acclaim, especially for representing Indigenous Mexicans in mainstream media. He was recognized as one of the breakthrough entertainers of 2022 by The Associated Press. In his statement, Huerta expressed gratitude to his family and supporters, urging people to examine the facts before jumping to conclusions.