Actress Asia Argento denies sexual relationship with Jimmy Bennett

Bessie Dean
August 21, 2018

She said he'd raped her at the festival in 1997, and predicted he'd be shunned and never welcomed back to the festival now that his predatory history had come to light.

"I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and worldwide news", Argento said in a statement given to reporter Yashar Ali.

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein's criminal attorney Ben Brafman blasted Argento for "hypocrisy" in a statement Monday.

Italian actor Asia Argento has denied allegations that she sexually assaulted actor Jimmy Bennett, saying that a settlement paid to him was made by her partner Anthony Bourdain in order to help alleviate his "severe economic problems".

Argento, one of the most prominent activists of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, recently settled a complaint filed against her by a young actor and musician who said she sexually assaulted him when he was 17, the New York Times reported.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts in NY, including first-degree rape.

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Argento and Bennett co-starred in a 2004 film called "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" in which Argento played Bennett's prostitute mother. Argento said Bourdain "personally undertook to help Bennett economically" under the condition that he not contact Argento again. Allegedly, Bennett's lawyer reached out to Argento previous year after the Harvey Weinstein news broke. "But there is a huge difference between acting inappropriately and engaging in intentional criminal conduct". Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, who he considered unsafe, could have brought upon us.

Since going viral in October, #MeToo has inspired women around the world to publicly speak out about their mistreatment by powerful men. Although the Italian actress was one of the leaders of the #Metoo movement, now she is getting #MeToo'd herself.

"Knowing that this woman, who is the leading voice, has this very complicated story in her past certainly makes everybody think differently of her as a character", Kantor said.

The statement does not address the photo of Argento naked in bed with Bennett that multiple people had seen and verified according to the Times.

The notice says the encounter traumatised Bennett and hurt his career, "The Times" reported. Weinstein has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

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