X-ED! Asia Argento fired from 'X Factor Italy' amid sexual assault allegations
The producers of the show Sky Italia and Frantle Media Italia have reportedly decided to not include her on the live shows as a judge
Asia Argento has reportedly been fired from her position as a judge on 'X Factor Italy,' in wake of recent sexual assault allegations. The first seven episodes featuring Argento that have already been shot will be aired, including those featuring preliminary auditions that determine the final 12 contestants who would get to be on the show.
Once the live show begins, audiences will not see her. Keeping in mind the 12 contestants who won their spots out of 40,000 hopefuls, Sky Italia reportedly did not want to redo the whole process again. To cut Argento out completely would have required them to shoot the whole process all over again.
A few weeks ago, Asia Argento was accused of sexually assaulting Jimmy Bennett, a claim she continued to deny. TMZ, however, obtained (and later released) a photo that showed the 37-year-old actress in bed with Jimmy Bennett (then 17), naked and their arms entangled. Also, a screenshot of a private conversation allegedly between Asia and her friend, where she admitted to having sex with him, had also emerged.
Argento had made a $380,000 settlement with the former child actor Jimmy Bennett following a shakedown letter, in which he accused her sexually assaulting him in California when he was still not of legal age. Bennett was 17 at the time and she was 37.
The age of consent in California is 18. She has admitted to the payout but denied all charges. She had said that her former boyfriend, the late celebrity chef, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain had made the payout but, at the time, she denied that she had had sex with Bennett.
In her statement, she said, "I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in the national and international news. I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett's demand for help and give it to him. Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life."
Argento has been an active voice in the #MeToo Movement and one of the biggest voices against the sexual crimes of producer Harvey Weinstein - she was one of the first women to accuse him of sexual assault.
Producers FremantleMedia Italia and Sky Italia have not issued an official statement yet, but they are said to already be looking at replacements. The live show for 'X Factor Italy' will air on October 25, and according to some reports, the producers are said to be looking at Argento's ex-husband Morgan to step into her shoes as a judge. He is also an Italian pop star.
After the allegations against Argento were reported, Sky Italia and FremantleMedia had issued a statement saying that if they found the allegations to be true, they "would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration." A majority of audiences on social media also asked Argento's removal from the show following these accusations. The show will announce their new judge on September 5 in a press conference in Milan.