Last week, several actors starring in The CW show Riverdale were accused of sexual assault via Twitter. These include Cole Sprouse, Vanessa Morgan, Lili Reinhart and KJ Apa, and several of them have since issued statements denying the allegations and are now considering legal actions against those who made the accusations.
One of the first to be accused, Sprouse – who made a name for himself as a childhood star on the series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – was also among the earliest to issue a response, saying:
“Earlier today myself and three other cast mates were falsely accused of sexual offense by anonymous accounts on twitter. I take these accusations very seriously, and will be working with the right teams to get to the root of it. False accusations do tremendous damage to victims of actual assault. Furthermore, I would never seek to silence anybody. I encourage that people look into the accusations themselves, as the events detailed were factually untrue. This seems to be the latest claim in a series of incidents seeking to baselessly cancel my cast mates and me.”
Sprouse’s statement closely resembles that of Justin Bieber, a Canadian singer-songwriter who was similarly accused of having committed assault by an account on Twitter. In his own response, the celebrity also acknowledged the severity of sexual assault, but went on to deny the allegations made against him and vowed to take legal action in order to clear his name.
Reinhart, who’s not only Sprouse’s Riverdale co-star but also his real-life partner (though recent reports say they’ve now split up), similarly denied allegations made against her while acknowledging the gravity of the situation.
“I have always taken sexual assault allegations seriously,” she said. “But it was proven that this account was created specifically to create false stories about me and my cast. I can’t think of something more twisted than lying about sexual assault.”
Meanwhile, another Riverdale cast member, Madelaine Petsch, who has not been accused of misconduct, came out in support of her colleagues. Naming herself a victim of sexual assault, she said that she was “deeply disturbed that anyone thinks that it is okay to falsely accuse someone.”
While most of the accounts that posted the accusations have since been deleted or suspended, the impact of their posts is evidently lasting. The latest in recent developments on the #MeToo front, they accompany allegations made against celebs such as Danny Masterson and Ansel Elgort, as well as the aforementioned Bieber.