‘You’ actor Penn Badgley has spoken out for the first time after his co-star Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual misconduct.
Penn Badgley, 33, has spoken out after his You co-star Chris D’Elia, 40, was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women on Twitter. The Gossip Girl alum said he was “troubled” after it was reported that Chris sexually harassed and groomed underage girls. “It did affect me deeply. I was very troubled by it. I am very troubled by it,” he told the Los Angeles Times on their “Can’t Stop Watching” podcast. “I don’t know Chris. I know that, if there’s anything we need to do in this age, it’s to believe women.”
Penn explained that he had “tried to uphold a certain level of conduct” throughout his life, and pointed out the similarities between the allegations against his co-star and the actions of his character Henderson on the Netlifx smash You. In the series’ second season, his character drugged and assaulted young women. “The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing. It’s very disturbing,” Penn said. “What does it take to change that? Because it’s not just vetting individuals. There needs to be a change in culture and attitude so that that kind of behavior is so clearly reprehensible, it’s so clearly, like, anti-human.”
He then added, “I know that at least our show is trying to be — thinks about things in a dismantling, deconstructive manner. I would hope that at least our show is not serving to uphold these kind of, like, bunk ways of being and these systems, right?” Chris denied allegations that he sent inappropriate sexual messages to underage girls. “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 June 17 statement to HollywoodLife. All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me.”
Chris continued, “That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”