"False accusations do tremendous damage to victims of actual assault," Cole Sprouse wrote

By Robyn Merrett
June 22, 2020 05:14 PM
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Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart
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Exes and costars Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart are speaking out about apparently fabricated sexual assault allegations made against them by anonymous Twitter accounts.

The since-deleted allegations came to light on Sunday, prompting Sprouse to address them that evening by tweeting: "False accusations do tremendous damage to victims of actual assault."

"Earlier today myself and three other cast mates were falsely accused of sexual offense by anonymous accounts on Twitter. I take these accusations very seriously, and we will be working with the right teams to get to the root of it," began Sprouse, 27.

"False accusations do tremendous damage to victims of actual assault. Furthermore, I would never seek to silence anybody. I encourage that people look into the accusations themselves, as the events detailed were factually untrue," Sprouse continued.

"This seems to be the latest claim in a series of incidents seeking to baselessly cancel my castmates and me," he added.

Reinhart, 23, quote-tweeted Sprouse's denial, saying, "I have always taken sexual assault allegations seriously. But it was proven that this account was created specifically to create false stories about me and my cast."

"I can't think of something more twisted than lying about sexual assault," Reinhart continued. "It invalidates the men and women who are brave enough to come forward with the truth. This kind of lie can ruin lives and careers – and I can call it a lie because the person who made the allegations already admitted that the stories were fabricated."

Reinhart added that she is taking "legal action" and said "this kind of sick behavior only harms true survivors."

"This was incredibly triggering for me and scary because I've always supported survivors and believed them. I hope and pray that this does not discourage real survivors from speaking out abut their experiences," Reinhart added. (In October 2017, the actress wrote a Tumblr post about being sexually harassed by an older, unnamed co-worker, who she says tried to force himself on her and left her feeling 'completely violated.'")

Riverdale star Madelaine Petsch spoke out in defense of her costars on Twitter, writing: "As someone who has been sexually assaulted, I am deeply deeply disturbed that anyone thinks that it is okay to falsely accuse someone of sexual assault. This is why real assault allegations can sometimes not be taken seriously, you should be ashamed. This is disgusting."

It is not immediately clear what other Riverdale stars were targeted with similar allegations.

According to a screenshot shared on Twitter, the account that accused Reinhart of sexual misconduct admitted to falsely accusing Vanessa Morgan and KJ Apa as well.

"Do you see how easy it is to lie and you guys will believe it?" the account wrote after revealing the allegations made against were untrue. "Vanessa Morgan and KJ Apa didn't do jack s---. You will believe anything."

Morgan, 28, retweeted Petsch's message but did not speak on the accusations further. Apa has not commented, and his rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Sprouse and Reinhart have dated on and off since 2017; PEOPLE confirmed they had split again in late May.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.