‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Star Tenoch Huerta Accused of Sexual Assault – Actor Calls Allegation ‘False and Offensive’

Tenoch Huerta (Credit: Shutterstock)

Tenoch Huerta, an actor best known for playing Marvel villain Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has been accused of sexual assault by a renowned Mexican musician.

Saxophonist María Elena Ríos called Huerta a “sexual predator,” and alleged in a series of social media posts on Saturday (June 10) that he assaulted her.

Huerta issued a statement Monday saying the allegation is “false and completely unsubstantiated.”

In one tweet, translated by the website Comic Book Resources, Ríos criticized the Mexican anti-racism organization Poder Prieto for allegedly publishing a podcast she was involved in on its website without her permission. Ríos said she had severed ties with the organization and had not been paid for her contribution to the podcast.

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The group disputed Ríos’ version of what happened. She responded with a tweet accusing the organization of protecting Huerta — who according to the  published reports — is a spokesman for Poder Prieto.

“I made it very clear to them when I left their group, that they protect the violent and sexual PREDATOR of @TenochHuerta that they did not publish anything about me. They still went to look for me at a concert of hypocrites to avoid scandals for their @MarvelLATAM movie,” Ríos tweeted in Spanish.

When another Twitter user asked if the actor had sexually assaulted her, Ríos replied yes, and said there were “several” other alleged victims.

In another tweet, the musician said she hesitated to speak up because Mexico is a “machista” society with a culture of violence against women, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s very difficult to talk about the emotional abuse and the abuse of power of a sexual predator who is loved around the world for playing a character in a movie such as Tenoch Huerta,” Ríos wrote on Twitter as translated by the Times.

Huerta, who is a native of Ecatepec de Morelo, Mexico, said Monday he had a consensual relationship with Ríos.

“About a year ago, I dated Elena for several months,” Huerta wrote in his statement. “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 actor said he then took legal action.

“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, 42, is famous in Mexico after previously appearing in numerous films, as well as in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico.

Ríos, 29, has been well-known in Mexico for years. She became an activist trumpeting women’s rights after an ex-boyfriend, an influential politician, hired men to throw acid on her face and body in 2019. She was hospitalized for several months and is said to have been left disfigured. She became associated with Poder Prieto after she was attacked.

NBC News reports Ríos is part of a movement in Mexico calling for increased punishments for acid attacks.