New report reveals that Harvey Weinstein accuser, Asia Argento, paid underage actor to settle sexual assault case of her own
Further details claim a payment of $380,000 was also arranged to be made to her accuser, former child actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, in order to keep the matter under wraps.
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal had gone public in October 2017, Italian actress Asia Argento was one of the first few women to have come forward with her account of assault against the studio mogul. In days following an explosive New Yorker report - which detailed harassment claims against the former head of Miramax - Argento had even become an active voice and an advocate of the Me Too movement.
In a turn of events, though, it has emerged that the actress, now 42-years-old, had paid off an underage actor last year to settle a sexual harassment case filed against her, the New York Times reports. Further details claim hush money amounting $380,000 was also arranged to be made to her accuser, former child actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, in order to keep the matter under wraps.
Bennett, who has appeared in many Hollywood titles since the age of six - including 'Amityville Horror', 'Firewall', 'Poseidon', 'Hostage', and 2004's 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things', where he played Argento’s son - was allegedly 17-years-old when the reported incident between him and Argento took place in a California hotel. In California, the legal age of consent is 18.
The actress was 37 at the time of the incident, according to NYTimes. Apparently, all these claims and the details of the arrangement was mentioned in documents between the lawyers of Argento and Bennett - a copy of which seems to have made its way to The Times via encrypted mail from an unidentified source. Verifying the authenticity of the documents, the report also mentioned about a selfie of the two in bed - whose copyright now belongs to Argento.
While multiple outlets reported this latest development, none of them have received a response from the representative of the actress yet. Even Bennett has chosen to stay away from the attention with his lawyer simply explaining that "Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music.”
However, certain details of the assault allegation and the subsequent payment has been reported by The Times. In the documents, in fact, it has allegedly transpired that the 2013 hotel room incident was traumatic for Bennett, ultimately contributing to emotional stress and a decline in work and income for the actor.
“We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again,” Carrie Goldberg, Argento's lawyer wrote in an April letter characterizing the settlement as "helping Mr. Bennett.” “You are a powerful and inspiring creator and it is a miserable condition of life that you live among shitty individuals who’ve preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses.”
Argento, most recently, was in the news following the death of her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. She was subjected to trolls and online harassment after the celebrity chef committed suicide - an issue that has since been strongly condemned by many others.