'Be the person you wish Harvey [Weinstein] could have been.'
28 Agosto 2018 15:05
Written by Harry Davies.
Rose McGowan has urged Asia Argento to be the 'person you wish Harvey could have been’ in the wake of accusations that she sexually assaulted a then 17-year-old boy, actor Jimmy Bennett.
Online critics called on McGowan to respond to the allegations against her friend and fellow prominent #MeToo activist, who was among the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape.
Her initial response was short, as she claimed her ‘heart is broken’. She added, then deleted, a statement saying: ‘I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere. None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.’
It wasn’t until Monday that McGowan released a full statement through the PR agency Brigade Marketing. McGowan voiced her concern that the news should not ‘break the moment of the movement’. She also distanced herself from Argento.
‘Asia you were my friend,’ McGowan said. ‘I loved you. You've spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.’
‘There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault,’ McGowan added.
The former Charmed actress also described the private text messages allegedly sent by Argento to her partner, Rain Dove, that include the admission that she had engaged in an sexual relationship with Bennett. The texts were picked up by celebrity website TMZ and shared online, alongside a photo of Argento and Bennett in bed together.
‘I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating, Rain Dove,’ McGowan continued. ‘They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennett.’
The statement goes on to say that Argento took no action to report the incident to anyone or block Bennett from being able to contact her. It is also alleged that Bennett had been sending Argento nude photos since the age of 12, with the Italian actress making no effort to tell his parents, the police, or colleagues.
McGowan says she encouraged her partner to take the information to the authorities, which they did. According to her statement, ‘Almost 48 hours later the texts were in the press.’
Argento, 42, paid Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him. The incident is said to have taken place in California in 2013 when he was 17. The age of consent in the state is 18.
Although Argento has admitted to the secret payoff, and claimed that the payment was funded by her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain as a way of mitigating any bad press at the time, she denies that she had a sexual relationship with the then-teenager, saying reports were ‘absolutely false’.