Asia Argento Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

She also says that paying off her accuser was Anthony Bourdain's idea.

asia argento
Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento attend the 2018 Women In The World Summit. (Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Asia Argento has denied the sexual assault allegations levied against her by former child actor Jimmy Bennett. Argento said that she never had “any sexual relationship” with Bennett, who accused her of molesting him when he was a minor. Argento also said that her former boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, urged her to agree to a financial settlement to end Bennett’s “long-standing persecution of her,” reports Variety. 

In a statements first reported by journalist Yashar Ali, Argento said that Bennett was “considered dangerous” by Bourdain and that a $380,000 payout to him was a way “to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help.” Argento said the actor had “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money” from her.

The statement continues, saying that she was “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” referring to the report in The New York Times that detailed the settlement and Bennett’s allegations.

Argento has been one of the harshest accusers of disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein and one of the most outspoken critics of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.

She did not dispute the specific details of the reported $380,000 payout, reports Variety, but she did said that both the settlement and the exposure are “the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution.”

People on social media are already responding strongly to Argento’s statement.

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