Actress Asia Argento has now issued an official statement today saying she never had “any sexual relationship” with a man who has accused her of molesting him when he was a minor reports Variety.
Journalist Yashar Ali first reported the statement which follows on from a New York Times report on Sunday detailing a settlement with former child actor Jimmy Bennett who alleged that the Italian actress-director sexually assaulted him in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37.
Argento doesn’t deny the settlement, saying Bennett was “considered dangerous” by her former boyfriend the late Anthony Bourdain and that a $380,000 payout to him was a way to end Bennett’s “long-standing persecution” of her and “to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help” after the actor unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from her while her public profile grew during the investigation into Harvey Weinstein.
She contends Bennett was motivated by his own ‘severe economic problems’ and his belief that Bourdain was a wealthy target with a reputation to protect. She adds Bourdain insisted the matter be handled privately, which Bennett also reportedly wanted and Argento agreed to.
Argento, one of the harshest accusers of Weinstein and something of a poster child for the #MeToo movement, adds that she is “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false” referring to the Times report. The full statement can be seen below:
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 21, 2018