Tenoch Huerta, the breakout actor from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” has dropped out of a Netflix film project days after being publicly accused of sexual assault.

“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,’ he said in a statement released this week to media outlets. “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. My focus now is simple: continue the process of restoring my reputation.”

Ríos, a saxophonist and activist who works to combat violence against women in Mexico, could not immediately be reached for comment. She posted a series of tweets on June 10 that called Huerta a “sexual predator” and accused him of assault, which the Los Angeles Times initially covered.

Huerta denied the allegations and said he had a consensual relationship with Ríos a few months before her tweets, the Times reported.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. The streaming giant announced “Fiesta en la madriguera” in late May, with Huerta set to star in the Mexican-produced film about a boy and his father attempting to obtain a Namibian pygmy hippo.

Born in Mexico, Huerta gained fame internationally for parts in projects such as “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Narcos: Mexico” before his breakout role as Namor in the “Black Panther” sequel last year. His performances and his advocacy for racial equality in the entertainment industry earned him rave reviews, including a spot on the Associated Press’s list of breakthrough entertainers.


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