Asia Argento, who has been considered by many to be a face of the #MeToo movement after she accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, allegedly paid off a young actor who accused her of sexual misconduct back in 2013, according to a report in The New York Times.
The NYT reports that Argento paid actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in a California hotel room when he was 17 years old and she was 37. The pair had played a mother and son in the film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, years before the alleged assault, in 2004.
The newspaper received a number of legal documents pertaining to the payment which it says has been verified by three people familiar with the matter. The documents claim that Bennett faced a series of emotional problems which affected his work and career after the alleged incident.
In a letter confirming the terms of the payment, Argento’s lawyer Carrie Goldberg wrote that the money was for the purpose of “helping Mr. Bennett.”
“We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again,” Goldberg wrote. “You are a powerful and inspiring creator and it is a miserable condition of life that you live among shitty individuals who’ve preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses.”
A letter from Bennett’s lawyer Gordon K. Sattro alleges that the decision to sue came “recently when Ms. Argento took the spotlight as one of the many victims of Harvey Weinstein.”
Here is the NYT’s retelling of Bennett’s recollection of the events:
Ms. Argento asked the family member to leave so she could be alone with the actor. She gave him alcohol to drink and showed him a series of notes she had written to him on hotel stationery. Then she kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex. She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the document says. She then asked him to take a number of photos.
Argento did not respond to the New York Times’ questions about the incident or the payment.
We’ll keep you posted as more info comes to light. Read the full story over at the NYT here.