Thelma Fardín’s accusation of rape against Juan Darthés, which placed the drama of sexual abuse at the forefront of the national conversation and prompted many to come out and tell their own stories, continues to unfold in the public sphere. In the last 24 hours, Darthés came out to deny having raped Fardín – she rejected the statements shortly thereafter – and an ex-boyfriend of hers gave an interview in which he revealed Darthés called him the day before the news broke, to “manipulate” him and make him part of his alibi.
The reverberations of the revelation, which largely transcend this particular case, also continue to grow. The number of calls to phone lines used to report abuses have increased exponentially, and further episodes are taking over other spaces of public life: a national senator was also accused of abuse, and a model/actress revealed on the most popular show in the country that she was also a victim at the age of 11.
Let’s take a look at everything that has happened in the past hours.
Darthés Gives an Interview
Darthés gave an interview to journalist Mauro Viale – who was also willing to give air time to Rodrigo Eguillor, another man who has been accused of abuse and today is in pre-trial arrest – where he denied all accusations and said it was Fardín who actually came on to him in a hotel room in Nicaragua, where the events took place.
“She came on to me and wanted to kiss me,” he said. Darthés went on to assure that “she knocked on my door because and I told her to go away.” “I said: ‘you’re crazy, what’s wrong with you? You have a boyfriend, I am an adult.’ It was me who said my children were her age,” said Darthés, thus reversing the roles of the episode. In the video where she details the allegations, Fardín indicates that when Darthés was raping her she reminded him that she was the same age as his children.
Darthés continued to assure he has never raped anyone – even though five women have publicly accused him of abuse or rape – and saying he is the victim in this case. “I am already dead, civically. My career [as well], which at this point I don’t care about anymore. The only thing I care about are my children and my wife,” he said.
“I never raped anyone, I never harassed anyone. Never. If I were part of the people seeing this, I would also believe her. There are 100 women supporting her and her statements, even though they don’t know if they are true,” he added.
Fardín answered on Twitter:
La entrevista de hoy fue violencia de género a nivel simbólico. Hay una amenaza donde traslada la responsabilidad de sus actos a quienes somos sus víctimas. De ninguna manera puede revictimizarnos haciéndonos responsables de las consecuencias sobre su vida.
— Thelma Fardin (@soythelmafardin) December 14, 2018
“The interview with gender-based violence at a symbolic level. He takes the responsibility of his actions to his victims. In no way he can re-victimize us by making us responsible of the consequences this has in his life,” reads the tweet, which was met with broad support.
Hours later, actor Juan Guilera, who dated Fardín when they both worked in Patito Feo (“Ugly Duckling”) along with Darthés – although not at the moment of the episode – revealed that he called him on the day before the accusation to “manipulate him and harm Thelma’s accusation.”
“All indicators point at him wanting to use me in his defense. I was extremely suspicious of the whole situation,” said Guilera, who added that he had not spoken to Darthés in about ten years.
He went on to recall the conversation: “He told me: ‘Sorry to call you, but I am desperate. A source told me that Thelma will accuse me of rape.’ I was shaken up, I had no idea what was going on. Then, he asks me two questions. First, if I was still in touch with her. I said no. And second, and this is the one that surprised me and made me feel he wanted to manipulated me, was whether I remembered telling him ten years ago that Thelma fantasized about him.”
“That was not the case. I told him I did not, that I did not remember talking to him about Thelma. I also don’t remember a conversation of the kind. That was the end of it. He apologized for dragging me into this mess and hung up,” the actor explained.
Galera indicated that, as soon as the conversation ended, he tried to communicate with Fardín to tell her about it, but was not able to reach her. “She has my full support. She was an extremely important person in my life. I am beside myself,” he said.
As mentioned, the domino effect resulting from the accusation took over most platforms dominating the public conversation.
One took place in Congress, as national Senator Juan Carlos Marino (UCR) was formally accused of abuse by a former aide, Claudia Guebel.
Guebel explained that Marino used to send her sex-related videos and that he touched her breasts once. He also asked her questions such as where she lived, telling her to “get ready” because he would head over there. She also accused an aide of the senator, Pedro Fiorda.
Federal Prosecutor Federico Delgado determined there is enough evidence in the accusation to kick off an investigation. He will order probes be conducted, and after analyzing them conclude whether to press charges. In a radio interview, Senator Federico Pinedo (PRO) said that Marino rejected all accusations on Friday and told him he would renounce to his parliamentary immunity to let the courts investigate him freely.
Another accusation took place on the TV screen, as María Del Cerro revealed on Showmatch – the Argentine version of Dancing with the Stars, and perhaps the most popular show in the country – that she had been abused at the age of 11.
Outside the spotlight the cases continue to surface in enormous numbers. All phone lines used to report abuses of different kinds saw exponential increases in the number of calls received.
The line set up by the Justice and Human Rights Ministry to receive reports of child abuse usually gets 16 calls a day, on average. Yesterday, the number stood at 216 – a 1,240 percent increase. Members of NGO La Casa del Encuentro reported that on Thursday, 37 women knocked on their door to seek assistance on how to proceed about sexual abuses that took place years ago.
According to statistics from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, seven out of every ten victims of sexual abuse on minors are girls. 51 percent of them are under 11 years old, and seven out of every ten aggressors are members of their own family.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse or gender-based violence, call help line #144 any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.