She was one of the first people to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual misconduct. Now, an actor says she sexually abused him when he was 17.
20 Agosto 2018 15:38
Italian actor Asia Argento, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, secretly paid off a young male actor who accused her of sexual assault, according to legal documents.
An explosive The New York Times report claims that Argento paid former child actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 to keep the allegations quiet. Bennett says that in 2013, Argento, then aged 37, assaulted him in a California hotel just two months after his 17th birthday. The age of consent in California is 18.
The Times reports that it has seen the legal documents that contain Bennett's claims and the payments arranged between his lawyers and Argento's. The lawsuit filed by Bennett’s team alleges that the sexual assault was so traumatic that it affected his mental health and halted his burgeoning acting career.
Bennett took action against Argento soon after she went public with her own sexual assault allegations against Weinstein, in which the actress says that she was raped aged 21 by the disgraced Hollywood mogul in 1997.
Argento’s allegations, published in an article by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker, helped prompt an onslaught of sexual assault allegations against Weinstein and sparked the global #MeToo and Time's Up movement.
Argento, with the support of the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who was her boyfriend until his suicide in June, has since led the dialogue about sexual harassment and his given high-profile talks at Harvard University and Cannes Film Festival.
The Times reports Bennett's account of the incident as the following; He arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey to meet Argento in her hotel room on May 10, 2013, with a family member.
Argento asked to be alone with Bennett and the family member left. Bennett claims Argento gave him alcohol and also showed him notes she had made on hotel stationery. She then proceeded to kiss him and perform oral sex, before having intercourse with him, the legal documents claim.
Argento then asked to take a number of photos with him. Photos of Argento and Bennett semi-clothed in bed, as well as an Instagram post of their faces taken on that day, were included in the notice of intent to sue, The Times reports.
Bennett's lawyers claim that Argento presenting herself as a victim of sexual assault as well as taking a prominent role in the #MeToo movement triggered traumatic memories of his own assault.
Argento and Bennett first met when they worked together on the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which Argento wrote and directed. Bennett was only seven years old at the time and played Argento's son.
Via The New York Times.