Natalie Viscuso, the former reality TV star-turned-film executive dating The Witcher star Henry Cavill, has apologized after an image of herself with darkened skin from 2008 surfaced on social media. Viscuso, 31, said the image was from a television show she filmed in Namibia when she was 18. Cavill and Viscuso took their relationship Instagram official in April.
The offensive still showed Viscuso, who is from Roswell, New Mexico, wearing African tribal attire. She had her skin darkened from the neck down with what appears to be Otijize, a pigment used by the Himba community to protect themselves from the climate. Members of the tribe she filmed with dressed her in native attire for an initiation ceremony.
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"Firstly, I'd like to say that I'm sorry if this image surfacing has caused any offense. It is a photo from 2008 for a TV show in Namibia," Viscuso told the Daily Mail. "The tribe I was living with painted my skin as part of an initiation ceremony and an acceptance into their culture. Never in a million years did I think that this would be offensive, in fact, I felt honored that they would initiate me. However, with the lessons that we are all learning in today's climate, it is important that I recognize that this is potentially hurtful. My deepest and most sincere apologies."
Viscuso appeared in a 2005 episode of MTV's Super Sweet 16. She is now an experienced Hollywood executive, now serving as vice president of television and digital studios at Legendary Entertainment. She previously worked for ITV Studios, The Gersh Agency, and The Weinstein Company, and is a USC graduate. Cavill and Viscuso went public with their relationship on April 10 when he posted a photo of the two playing chess.
Cavill later asked his fans to hold off on speculating about his private life on May 15, alongside a new photo with Viscuso. "Even your most conservative of negative assumptions about both my personal and professional life just aren't true," Cavill, 38, wrote. "Let's embrace this age of social enlightenment together, and move forward with positivity. I am very happy in love, and in life. I'd be enormously grateful if you were happy with me. If you can't bring yourself to be happy with me, then at the very least try to do yourself proud and be the best version of yourself."
Cavill, who has played Superman in the recent DC Comics movies, now stars as Geralt in Netflix's The Witcher. The show's second season will be released later this year. He also starred as Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes, and will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel.