In a shocking turn to the Asia Argento sexual assault scandal, it is now being claimed that it was 17-year-old Jimmy Bennett who had attacked the Italian actress during the alleged 2013 incident. Although the actress, a prominent advocate of the #MeToo movement, had allegedly admitted earlier to having a sexual encounter with the then-underage actor in the Marina del Rey hotel room, her latest allegations suggest her to be the victim.
According to some texts obtained by TMZ, in which the actress' lawyer Mark Jay Heller claims to be telling the true story, Argento was "frozen" when Bennett was on top of her. "The horny kid jumped me ... I had sex with him it felt weird," the quoted excerpts from a conversation read, as Heller added: "Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.
Apparently, the ploy was to extort money from Argento and her celebrity chef boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, considering their public image. "[Bennett chose to intrude on that relationship and demand financial payment from Bourdain in consideration for not embarrassing Asia and indirectly Bourdain," claims Heller, adding to the barrage of accusations against the young actor.
While up until this point Bourdain has already paid $250,000, as per reports, no further payment will be made to Bennett as part of the so-called settlement. "Asia will not permit any portion of the balance of the $380,000 payment to be paid to Bennett," Heller in a separate statement to E!.
On a final note, though, the accused actress' lawyer suggests that no further legal steps will be taken against Bennett, owing to his misfortunes in the past, which in a way explains his "desperation".
"Asia does not intend to prosecute Bennett for his conduct and recognizes that his unfortunate past, his stalled acting career, and a lawsuit against his own parents for allegedly misappropriating more than a million and a half dollars from his account might explain his desperation to seek money from Asia and Bourdain for this falsely alleged incident that took place more than 5 years ago," said Heller.
In addition, the lawyer, referring to this entire scenario, also introduced the so-called "Phase Two' of the #MeToo movement," which apparently states, "A victim who has some negative history should have the courage to come forward and say 'me too, I was a victim of sexual assault' and whatever might color my past does not negate the truth of what happened to me."
Bennett is yet to respond to the latest slew of claims. Although, the actor had explained his side of the story right after the explosive Times article, shedding light on the allegations against Argento, had surfaced back in August.
"I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public," he had said. "I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative."