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Black Panther actor Tenoch Huerta denies s.e.x.ual assault allegation

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actor Tenoch Huerta is denying an allegation of sexual assault.

The Mexican actor, known for his role as Namor in the Marvel movie, was accused of sexual assault by musician and activist Elena Ríos in a series of tweets over the weekend. On Thursday, Ríos called Huerta a “predator” while slamming the nonprofit Poder Prieto, a racial justice advocacy group, for not compensating her for a podcast appearance and alleging the group was protecting the actor.

Huerta is a member of the group, according to his official Instagram page, though he is not listed on the nonprofit’s membership page.

In a follow-up tweet on Saturday, Ríos, who was also part of the group, said she “made it very clear in my exit from (Poder Prieto), that protects the violent sexual predator Tenoch Huerta, to not publish anything from me.” The group had recently shared an episode of a podcast on social media, which featured Ríos.

Huerta responded to Ríos in a statement on his Instagram story Monday, calling her accusations “false and completely unsubstantiated.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Ríos for comment.

The 42-year-old actor revealed that he and Ríos were in a “consensual” romantic relationship within the past year.

“Throughout it was a loving, warm, and mutually supportive relationship,” Huerta wrote. “After it ended, however, Elena began to misrepresent our interactions both privately and in front of groups of mutual friends.”

Huerta said Ríos’ allegations prompted him to hire 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.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Huerta’s representative for additional comment.

In a tweet Sunday addressing the backlash she’s received for her accusation, Ríos explained her reasoning for not coming forward sooner.

“Why did I wait to talk about it? Because I have a process,” Ríos wrote. “Why didn’t I report it? Because I was afraid that this would happen: people who refuse to believe that a superhero is an abuser, manipulator, and sexual predator.”

“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,” she wrote in another tweet Sunday. “A charming appearance (is) the great characteristic of a narcissist.”

In the conclusion of his statement Monday, Huerta wrote, “Although I am by no means perfect, I know that these allegations are simply untrue.”

“While I will always work to improve myself, I need to contest claims that are both false and offensive,” Huerta continued. “I am deeply grateful to my family and the people who have supported me and greatly appreciate everyone willing to look at the facts and reflect before rushing to an untrue and unjust conclusion.”

In other news – Alexa Chung and Tom Sturridge spark engagement rumors

Alexa Chung sparked engagement rumors as she wore a ring on her left hand while out with her boyfriend Tom Sturridge last week. The two held hands as they took a stroll through Notting Hill in London on June 5.

The “Sandman” actor toted around a grocery bag, and at one point a makeup-free Chung enjoyed a snack during the walk showing off the gold ring on her finger. Read More

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