#MeToo activist and Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento reportedly once paid off her own sexual assault accuser.
According to a bombshell report by The New York Times, the Italian actress quietly reached a financial settlement with Jimmy Bennett (above, right), who once played her son in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, in the months following her public allegations against Weinstein.
The now-22-year-old Bennett claimed that in 2013, Argento sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room two months after he turned 17. (The age of consent is 18 in California.)
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Bennett alleged in the docs that Argento kissed him before performing oral sex on him and engaging in intercourse at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey. The report adds that Argento’s late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, “helped Mrs. Argento navigate the matter.”
Bennett sent his notice of intent to sue in November, asking for $3.5 million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault, and battery.
The actor and musician’s attorney, Gordon K. Sattro, wrote in the notice that Bennett’s “feelings about that day were brought to the forefront recently when Ms. Argento took the spotlight as one of the many victims of Harvey Weinstein.”
Per the report, she agreed to pay him $380,000. As part of the settlement, Bennett forfeited the copyright to a selfie from May 9, 2013 that shows him and Argento lying in bed.
Argento’s lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, wrote her in April about the agreement and payment plan in an email obtained by the Times, describing the money as “helping Mr. Bennett.” Goldberg wrote:
“We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again. 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.”
Predators and prey… which is which in Hollywood?
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