Actress Asia Argento Reportedly Paid Off Sexual Assault Accuser

Lula Sharp
August 20, 2018

Asia Argento, an Italian actress and director at the forefront of the #MeToo campaign that brought down producer Harvey Weinstein over sexual assault, herself reportedly assaulted an underage actor, and paid him to stay silent.

But in the months that followed her revelations about Mr. Weinstein last October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday.

The pair met in 2004 when Argento cast Bennett, then just 7, to play her son in "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things".

Neither Argento, who lives in Rome, nor Bennett commented for The Times report. She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the document says. That post and others were included with the notice of intent, along with three photos apparently taken by Mr. Bennett that depict him and Ms. Argento in bed, their unclothed torsos exposed. A woman who answered the phone at Goldberg's office Friday said the lawyer would not be available to discuss this article.

Read the Times report here.

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In mail exchanges between lawyers and clients the $380,000 of apparent hush money is reportedly described as "help" for Bennett, who claims to have been struggling with work and mental health after Argento's alleged assault, his income dropping from $2.7mn in the five years before his encounter with Argento, to $60,000 a year afterwards.

Argento's lawyer, Carrie Goldberg has not made an official comment and Bennett has not released a statement. His lawyer Gordon K. Sattro reportedly told the outlet, "In the coming days Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music".

Asia Argento speaks about being raped by Harvey Weinstein during the closing ceremony of the 71st global film festival, Cannes, southern France.

"We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again", Goldberg wrote.

The notice claimed that Argento's "sexual battery" of Bennett left him with lasting emotional trauma that rendered him unable to make a living, the report said.

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