Earlier this week, Bachelorette contestant Leo Dottavio found himself under fire due to sexual harassment claims from women in his past. Now he’s ready to respond.
It all went down when a past Bachelor contestant, Bekah Martinez, took to Instagram Stories to share screenshots from fans of the franchise, each one detailing how Dottavio had harassed them in the past. They included both lewd messages (“you need my big dick”) and unsolicited dick pics.
According to Martinez, she was soon contacted by Dottavio’s lawyers, who threatened to sue for defamation, but Martinez didn’t back down, claiming to believe the women:
“I started posting the screenshots [of their messages] because to me, it’s not a coincidence that multiple women would be saying similar things about the same person. There’s no way these women happen to be lying about the same thing before seeing what other women are saying.”
Martinez also claimed that Dottavio also reach out with “graphic claims from his own followers about her.”
Dottavio has since released a statement to Jezebel about the claims, which he didn’t necessarily deny:
“There have been some recent stories about me that have garnered attention and I want to address them. I want to start by saying no one has ever directly accused me of sexual harassment. No one has ever come to me in any way and told me I made them feel uncomfortable. However, I am NOT A PERFECT person nor have I ever claimed to be. Did I do things in college that I would be embarrassed about now? Absolutely. Was I a part of my culture, the times, movies? Yes. I have grown as a person since college. I am not the man I was 2 years ago let alone 14 years ago. It’s important for women to speak out if they felt uncomfortable or harassed. I support that. If there was anyone I made feel uncomfortable why not come to me? I would love an opportunity to right my wrongs and speak to any woman that wants to tell me how and when I made them feel uncomfortable. I want to take this as an opportunity to better myself and the treatment of women in my life.”
And yet, I never once saw an “I’m sorry.”