On Wednesday, Bachelor favorite Bekah Martinez took to her Instagram story to post screenshots from women who direct-messaged her accusing former Bachelorette contestant Leo Dottavio of sexual harassment. Allegations include Instagram comment he allegedly left on a woman's photo that said "you need my big dick" and accounts from people who went to college with Dottavio who had first and second-hand stories of sexual harassment. One person claimed to be friends with a women he allegedly sent unsolicited pictures of his genitalia.
In response, Dottavio posted a video of himself on his Instagram story saying "Life's a trip — stay positive." Later, Martinez revealed in a video posted to her Instagram titled "Sue me" that his lawyers were apparently threatening legal action. Martinez also shared documentation of direct messages between herself and Dottavio in which he claims certain screenshots have been photoshopped.
While Martinez posted on her story today that she was taking a step back due to the negativity she's received from fans of Dottavio since posting these accusations, Dottavio gave the followng statement to Jezebel about the claims:
"There have been some recent stories about me that have garnered attention and I want to address them," he wrote. "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."
This is the third time a contestant on an ABC show has been accused of inappropriate conduct this year. In June, former Bachelorette contestant Lincoln Adim was revealed to have been convicted of assault, and a contestant from the new show The Proposal, Michael Friday, was accused of facilitating sexual assault.
Martinez did not immediately respond to our request for comment. ABC declined to comment.