Asia Argento Denies Sexual Assault Allegations, Says Anthony Bourdain Paid Off Accuser

Oscar Cross
August 21, 2018

The New York Times reported that 22-year-old actor Jimmy Bennett claims in 2013 - a couple of months after his 17th birthday - Argento, then 37, sexually assaulted him in a hotel near Los Angeles. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.

She is alleged to have performed oral sex before engaging in full intercourse with Bennett, a successful child actor and rock musician.

The notice of intent asked for $3.5 million in damages. Representatives of Argento and Bennett have not responded to our request for comment.

She claims in her statement that Bourdain paid out the large sum of money to Bennett - whom Argento claims had "severe economic problems" - out of concerns over what Bennett would do if he didn't.

In a statement published online by New York Magazine journalist Yashar Ali, Argento described the accusations against her as "absolutely false". She also stated that her late partner Anthony Bourdain bore the financial cost, fearing "possible negative publicity".

"Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect", said Argento.

She said the friendship "ended when, subsequent to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett. unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me".

Jimmy Bennett at the premiere of'Star Trek

"The degree of hypocrisy that this development demonstrates is beyond stunning", Brafman said.

Argento said she is persecuted. Bourdain makes it clear he's handling the negotiations, instructing Argento to take a call from a rep who is involved in the matter. The New York Times reportedly obtained photographs showing the two in a bed together, but only one of the photos showed their faces.

Asia Argento accused studio mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual impropriety, leading to him being fired and the opening of multiple criminal investigations in multiple countries.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris on Monday said investigators were looking into the alleged incident.

Weinstein has been indicted on sex crime accusations involving three women, but not including Argento.

As #MeToo supporters digest the implications of the allegations and the complexities therein, it's worth considering the response of activist Tarana Burke, who founded the original #MeToo movement more than a decade ago.

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