Late Anthony Bourdain may have been involved in the sexual assault cover-up against Asia Argento according to new claims
Anthony Bourdain was one of the most vocal supporters of the #MeToo movement, but now the claims of his former girlfriend make him involved in the reported cover-up
How Anthony Bourdain supported his girlfriend during the whole #MeToo movement before his death is not unknown. She was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein.
The New York Times, however, reported that the actress was accused of sexual assault by actor Jimmy Bennett, some time ago and that she paid $380,000 to prevent him from pursuing legal action against her. A claim that she denied saying, "I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
But ever since TMZ released a photo purportedly showing Argento and Bennett in bed reportedly taken after their alleged sexual encounter, the case has taken a new twist.
Is Asia Argento telling the truth or Jimmy Bennett? But the fact that a settlement of $380,000 happened between the two paid by Asia's boyfriend Anthony Bourdain paved the way for alleged claims that the late celebrity chef was involved the cover-up.
According to documents obtained by The Times, Bennett claimed Argento assaulted him in a hotel room in 2013, when he was 17, and she was 37. Argento denied allegations that she sexually assaulted Bennett, but admitted to paying the actor at the insistence of the celebrity chef, who died by suicide in June.
Before his death, Anthony Bourdain was one of the most vocal supporters of the #MeToo movement, but now several new claims hinting that his former girlfriend involved in the reported cover-up of an alleged sexual assault, have started to surface. When the story broke, Argento didn't respond to The Times' request for comment ahead of publication, and later told freelance journalist Yashar Ali that she "never had any sexual relationship with Bennett," whom she directed and co-starred with in the 2004 movie 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.'
TMZ also published text messages reportedly belonging to Argento that appear to admit to having sex with Bennett. "I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter," Argento allegedly texted a friend.
Argento hasn't yet commented on the photo or text since they were published. The Times carried Bennett's statement saying that he was too "afraid and ashamed" to speak out about the alleged assault.
"I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. 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. 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," Bennett stated.
The Guardian reported that Argento had claimed that Bennett was experiencing "severe economic problems" and tried to exploit the exposure she received after becoming a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement to demand money from her and Bourdain.
"Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect," she said in her statement, adding that Bourdain insisted on handling the matter privately. "Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. 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."