Asia Argento, a leading figure in the #MeToo movement faces intense public scrutiny today after accusations surfaced she paid off an underage actor for sexual assault.
Per The Hollywood Reporter:
Asia Argento, the Italian actress who was one of the first to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, secretly paid off a young male actor accusing her of sexual misconduct in the months after her revelations about the disgraced movie mogul.
According to a report in The New York Times, Argento paid former child actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000. Bennett claims that in 2013, a then 37-year-old Argento assaulted him in a California hotel only two months past his 17th birthday. The age of consent in California is 18.
The Times reports that is has seen the legal documents that layout Bennett’s assault claims and the payments arranged between his lawyers and Argento’s.
Bennett’s lawyers sent a notice of intent to sue Argento in November, claiming that the sexual assault was so traumatic that it affected his mental health and stymied his acting career. The notice was sent to Richard Hofstetter, the late Anthony Bourdain’s longtime lawyer, who was representing Argento at the time.
The legal documents filed against Argento were sent shortly after her own rape allegations against Weinstein went public.
The pile-up of sexual assault allegations against the Hollywood mogul and Democratic megadonor sparked the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements to expose misconduct by men in positions of power.
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