One of the most vocal and visible advocates of the #MeToo movement, actress Asia Argento, has ended up on the other side of the line with a new The New York Times (via Variety) report indicating she settled an accusation of sexual assault with a young actor regarding an encounter both had in a California hotel room in 2013.
The young actor, Jimmy Bennett, was surprisingly named in the report and documents obtained by the paper indicate the claim alleges that the sexual assault happened when he was just over 17 years old and she was 37 (the age of consent in California is 18).
His initial notice was of intent to sue Argento for $3.5 million, claiming that due to the trauma inflicted by Argento, the young actor lost work and saw his yearly income drop dramatically. Before the suit went public he and the actress settled for $380,000. Included in the documents is a selfie taken, showing both parties in bed together. The New York Times has confirmed through multiple sources the documents and photo are real.
Bennett played the child version of Chris Pine’s James Kirk in the early scenes of 2009’s “Star Trek” reboot, and played Argento’s on screen son in the 2004 film “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things” which she directed. Bennett says he has left the film industry altogether and is now focusing on his music.
The lawyer who presided over the settlement said in the documents: “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.”
Argento, who has yet to comment on the report, is one of the many women that came out with sexual assault stories against Harvey Weinstein. She has recently faced online persecution after her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, took his own life earlier this year.