Asia Argento claimed that Jimmy Bennett sexually assaulted her, weeks after the actor accused her of the same thing.
Argento, 42, accused Bennett of assault via a statement by her attorney, Mark Heller, posted on his website on Wednesday, September 5. Heller wrote that his client “is hopeful” that “it will ultimately be determined that Asia never initiated an inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, but rather she was attacked by Bennett and might even be suffering the fallback of a smear campaign by those already accused who have a vested interested in their accusers being denied credibility.”
Heller’s statement comes shortly after The New York Times published a report accusing her of assaulting Bennett in 2013 when he was 17. According to the publication, Argento paid Bennett $380,000 in exchange for silence.
The Misunderstood actress, who has been spearheading the #MeToo movement after accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in October 2017, has since denied Bennett’s claims. “I am deeply shocked and hurt having read the news that is absolutely false,” she told New York Magazine on August 21. “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
One day later, Bennett, 22, addressed the ordeal in a statement to Us Weekly. “Many brave women and men have spoken out about their own experiences during the #MeToo movement and I appreciate the bravery that it took for each and every one of them to the a stand,” he said. “I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself.”
TMZ reported on Wednesday that Bennett was planning to file a sexual assault claim against the Italian star with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Rose McGowan previously spoke out about the situation, telling NYT on August 29 that her close friendship with Argento “changed in an instant” when she heard Bennett’s allegations. McGowan, 44, also claimed that her partner, Rain Dove, received text messages from Argento seeking advice about the matter. Dove, a 28-year-old gender-nonconforming model, later confirmed this in a statement to NYT and said they handed the messages over to authorities.
Argento seemingly reacted to the latest news her Instagram Story on Wednesday after posting a clip of her singing Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street,” which features the line, “You say I let you down, you know it’s not like that.”
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