Renato Seabra, the alleged killer of Portuguese gay journalist Carlos Castro, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder in New York City on Tuesday, the AP reported.

Seabra reportedly confessed to officials that he killed Castro in a fit of rage. The 21-year-old fashion model has been accused of bludgeoning to death and castrating with a wine corkscrew the 65-year-old Castro on January 7 in the Inter-Continental New York Times Square Hotel room the pair were sharing.

Several Portuguese media outlets attended the hearing, the New York Times reported.

The journalists speculated that Seabra was not gay and had accompanied Castro to New York in hopes of securing a career in the fashion world. A reporter for the Jornal de Noticias in Porto, Antonio Soares, questioned whether Castro was taking advantage of the youth, trading influence for favors.

Seabra appeared in the courtroom dressed in a neon-orange jacket with his hands cuffed behind his back. He remained quiet as his lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf to charges of second-degree murder.

Seabra earned fame last year on the Portuguese reality talent contest A Procura Do Sonho, or Pursuit of a Dream. He didn't win the contest but was signed to a modeling contract.

Castro had written articles and books about fashion and was a vocal gay rights advocate.