The Bachelorette season 14 and Bachelor in Paradise season 5 cast member Leo Dottavio has been accused of sexual misconduct involving several women, which he responded to by writing, “I am not a perfect person” and suggesting women should have talked to him if they felt uncomfortable with his behavior.
ABC and production company Warner Bros. both declined to comment when The Hollywood Reporter asked.
This is the latest report of problematic behavior from Bachelorette contestants this season:
- Garrett’s social media activity prompted an apology and unusual mis-season damage control, and will likely come up on tomorrow’s reunion, since he is one of the final two contestants
- Contestant Lincoln Admi had previously been convicted of sexual assault and battery
Thursday, Bachelor season 22 contestant Bekah Martinez shared screenshots of social media messages sent to her from other women, including this one, which has been archived by Just Jared:
“He constantly pursued my friend, who made it very clear she was in a committed relationship. Sent her multiple, unwanted dick pics.”
Another shows a comment Leo left on someone’s Instagram account:
“You need my big dick”
Leo responded with this formal statement on Friday, according to THR:
“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 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 two 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.”
Bekah wrote this on Instagram:
“I know Leo is not a rapist or a ‘serious’ abuser, but the way he’s handled this situation:
-laughing about it on his story
-threatening me with legal action
-being verbally dismissive of women’s experiences
-knowingly spreading lies in attempts to attack my character
are all perfect examples of the toxic culture we live in that silences real victims and gives real abusers power.”