Penn Badgley says the sexual assault accusations against his “You” co-star and comedian Chris D’Elia are “very disturbing”, encouraging fans to believe women.
Chris appeared in a three-episode arc of the Netflix series “You”, playing a man who pursues a 15-year-old girl. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times podcast, Penn said the allegations “did affect me deeply” and was “very troubled by it.”
“I don’t know Chris,” he said. “I know that, if there’s anything we need to do in this age, it’s to believe women.”
He also expressed concern about the fact that Chris was given the opportunity to star in “You”.
"The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing. It’s very disturbing."
Upon hearing about the allegations, the show immediately reached out to Jenna Ortega, who played Ellie, the underage victim of Chris in the show’s second season, Penn confirmed.
"The first thing our producers did was reach out to Jenna… the girl opposite Chris in those scenes, just to make sure she felt safe.”
Numerous women have recently come forward sharing stories of being inappropriately pursued by Chris when they were still minors. Among them is Julia Holtzman, who was just 17 years old when the actor, then 36 years old, pursued her.
Simone Rossi shared a similar story, accusing Chris of soliciting nude photos of her when she was just 16 years old, and asking her to make out with him. Both women came forward with screenshots of their exchange with Chris.
Chris has since been dropped by both his agent at CAA and his manager at 3 Arts Entertainment.
Penn lamented the fact that sexual assault remains a massive problem.
"There needs to be a change in culture and attitude so that that kind of behaviour is so clearly reprehensible, it’s so clearly, like, anti-human.”
Chris has denied the allegations
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point,” he said in a statement last week, adding that all his relationships have been “legal and consensual.”