Riverdale's Cole Sprouse stresses importance not to romanticise sexual assault

Riverdale star Cole Sprouse has stressed the importance of not romanticising sexual abuse storylines.

The 27-year-old stars as Jughead Jones in the Netflix series, which has tackled a long list of hard-hitting subjects over the years.

One of which centred around Madelaine Petsch’s character Cheryl, who was a victim of sexual assault.

In season two episode five, titled When a Stranger Calls, Veronica’s (Camila Mendes) old friend Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips) visited town where he found himself seducing Cheryl.

While out at a fancy function, the stranger ended up drugging Cheryl and leading her to his hotel room, where he planned on raping her.

However, Veronica managed to save her friend and dragged her away from danger just in time.

Talking about the scene and how the showrunners approached it, Cole has since told MTV: ‘I think that it’s important that they’re covered well and responsibly. I think one of the trickiest issues about this kind of representation is romanticisation about it.

‘It’s really important not to romanticise something that has destroyed lives or really hurt people and it’s traumatic and can be a trigger for people.’

He added: ‘But if it’s done with tact and it’s done responsibly then I think it’s kind of necessary, especially to a young adult audience who might be approached with circumstances of a similar degree.’

Cole had previously been dating his co-star Lili Reinhart, however, the couple are said to have called it quits on their relationship before the pandemic.

A source previously told Page Six: ‘Cole and Lili split before the pandemic hit, and have been quarantining separately. They remain good friends.’

Rumours of their split started to swirl when Skeet Ulrich who plays Cole’s onscreen dad, answered questions during an Instagram live with his girlfriend Megan Blake Irwin.

When quizzed over whether Cole and Lili were a cute couple, Skeet responded in the past tense, saying: ‘I think they were a very cute couple.’

Megan added: ‘They were a very cute couple. They’re both beautiful people.’

Riverdale is available to stream on Netflix.

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