Through thick and thin. Riverdale star Madelaine Petsch showed support for her costars Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, Vanessa Morgan and KJ Apa after anonymous Twitter users made sexual assault and harassment allegations against the foursome.
“Today it was brought to my attention that four of my castmates were falsely accused of sexual assault, and I’m really unsure as to why anyone would ever think that that’s an OK thing to do,” Petsch, 25, said in a series of videos on her Instagram Stories on Sunday, June 21.
“It’s so f–king [inaudible] and hard to go through. And as someone who’s been sexually assaulted, I have no words,” she continued. “This is the reason why I was scared to come forward and talk about my experiences with it, because I was afraid that someone would tell me that I was lying or that it didn’t actually happen. And for someone to go online and falsely accuse somebody of that, only to come forward a couple of hours later and say that they were lying about four different people, is such a serious thing to do. Like honestly, how dare you. Because this is the reason why victims are afraid to come forward in the first place. This is the reason why people don’t believe sexual assault victims, and yet you’re out here doing this online.”
Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom on the CW teen drama, told her 20.1 million Instagram followers that she was “so taken aback” after reading about the claims.
“My heart is really hurting for my friends and castmates who went through this today, and I hope that everyone knows how serious it is to accuse somebody of that, and I hope they understand the severity of what that does to people who have actually been through that,” she said. “It takes away the power from the victims who have gone through this, takes away the voices of people who want to come forward and talk about their experiences, because it just validates the whole narrative that people lie about this stuff.”
Earlier on Sunday, Twitter users accused Sprouse, 27, Reinhart, 23, Morgan, 28, and Apa, 23, of sexual misconduct. One of the accounts later tweeted, “Do you see how easy it is to lie and you guys will believe it? Vanessa Morgan and Kj Apa didn’t do jack s–t. You will believe anything.”
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody alum addressed the scandal via Twitter on Sunday evening, writing in part, “I take these accusations very seriously, and will be working with the right teams to get to the root of it. … This seems to be the latest claim in a series of incidents seeking to baselessly cancel my cast mates and me.”
The Hustlers star, for her part, tweeted, “We are looking into taking legal action. This kind of sick behavior only harms true survivors. This was incredibly triggering for me and scary because I’ve always supported survivors and believed them. I hope and pray that this does not discourage real survivors from speaking out about their experiences.”
Morgan and Apa have not publicly addressed the accusations, though she retweeted Sprouse’s response.
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