“If I’m correct here, I don’t think anyone said, ‘He did this to me.’ It was all a friend of a friend,” Leandro “Leo” Dottavio tells TooFab.
Recent "Bachelorette" contender Leandro "Leo" Dottavio believes "Bachelor" alum Bekah Martinez is being reckless by publicizing third party claims he has a history of sexually harassing women.
Dottavio spoke to TooFab Friday after releasing a statement addressing the claims that surfaced via Martinez’s Instagram account on Wednesday.
"Right now, she’s tarnishing my name and ruining my life without any evidence of anything," he said. Dottavio was one of the men vying for Becca Kufrin’s heart on the current season of "The Bachelorette," but he was recently eliminated. Martinez was after Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s heart on the last season of "The Bachelor," finishing in fifth place.
According to people who contacted Martinez, Dottavio allegedly has a history of sending "unwanted dick pics" to women and "being more than creepy towards women." But none of the DMs Martinez shared offered any actual proof of wrongdoing, so Dottavio is finding it a challenge to defend himself.
"If I’m correct here, I don’t think anyone said, ‘He did this to me.’ It was all a friend of a friend or ‘I heard he did this to a person,’" Dottavio continued. "No one was personally [speaking], so I don’t know who they are. That’s why I put that statement out that I did. I want to know who it was. I want to talk about it. If I did something wrong, I want to right that wrong. I’m not gonna just let it fester. Like, talk to me if that’s how you feel instead of speaking for a friend though some random girl on Instagram who has a few followers."
The series of screenshots Martinez shared began with a comment Dottavio allegedly left on someone’s Instagram photo four years ago that said, "You need my big d–k." Martinez told The New York Post she discovered the screenshot of Dottavio’s comment while browsing Bachelor Nation Reddit pages. Dottavio maintained in our conversation that the screenshot of his comment was Photoshopped and that his lawyer is looking into it.
Dottavio also confirmed his lawyer asked her to remove her posts and issue a public apology or she’ll be sued for defamation. But she didn’t back down and all of the screen shots are still available to view on her Instagram.
Dottavio told us he wants to be able to defend himself from the claims, but so far, no one has actually come forward with any accusations. He said it feels like we’re living in a day and age in which people are "guilty until proven innocent."
"All I’m asking is for someone to come forward so that I have something to say so that I can defend myself," he said.
Martinez described Dottavio’s response to the allegations "toxic" while speaking to the NY Post, because he DMed her with sexual misconduct allegations against her from strangers reaching out to him. Allegations included sexually abusing a minor and sexually abusing an animal, both of which Martinez denied. TooFab decided against spreading the anonymous allegations, but they’re currently available on her Instagram account, if you’re curious.
Dottavio told us he sent the messages to point out the danger of spreading unvetted allegations from followers, and noting the allegations against her could very well be completely made up.
"These were after she had started attacking me, so people were maybe trying to f–k with her too," he said. "But, they sent them to me, and I sent them to her and was like, ‘What if we all posted anything that came into our DMs?’ And then she posted the one about the fondling of the child, on her own story! I was trying to do it privately, and she did it on her story. That’s her prerogative and I really don’t know who she is, and I really don’t know her, so that’s all I can say."
ABC declined to comment on this Bachelor Nation battle when TooFab reached out to the network. Read Dottavio’s entire initial statement addressing the allegations below.
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