The Italian director and actress Asia Argento, a leading figure of the #MeToo movement, settled a complaint filed against her by a former child actor for sexual assault, according to a New York Times report.” Argento was one of the first women in Hollywood to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of assault.
Argento arranged to pay $380,000 to actor and musician Jimmy Bennett a month after she accused Weinstein of assault, according to a notice of intent to sue filed by Bennett. Bennett’s lawyer notified Argento last November that he intended to sue for $3.5 million for emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.
In the notice, Bennett says that he was assaulted by Argento in a California hotel in 2013, a few days after his 17th birthday. The age of consent in California is 18. Bennett claims in the notice that the encounter with Argento left him traumatized.
Argento, 42, and Bennett, now 22, co-starred in the 2004 film The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. Argento played Bennett’s mother. On the morning of the assault, Argento posted on Instagram: “Waiting for my long lost son my love @jimmymbennett in trepidation #marinadelrey smoking cigarettes like there was no next week.”
On May 9, 2013, Bennett arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey, Calif., to meet with Argento. Bennett came with a family member. According to the notice, Argento asked the family member to leave, then proceeded to give Bennett alcohol before pulling his pants off for oral sex and intercourse. Argento posted on Instagram later that day: “Happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmybennett xox.”
The NYT’s report has made waves throughout the #MeToo movement since its publication, with Argento’s fellow #MeToo activist and Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, among others, responding to the news on Twitter. See her response below.