Asia Argento has been the talk of Hollywood lately after a New York Times report claimed the actress has sexually assaulted underage actor, Jimmy Bennett when he was only 17-years-old. Since the reports have leaked, Argento has denied all accusations of sexual assault, even though she had paid Bennett $380,000.
Argento denied all allegations, stating that her boyfriend–the late Anthony Bourdain–had put up the money for the settlement to “help Bennett through financial troubles.” In a statement given to journalist Yasar Ali, Argento said:
The controversy surrounding the accusations have to do largely with Argento’s hand in the #MeToo movement, coming forward as one of the powerhouse women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Now, TMZ reports that Argento may be in more trouble than she had thought prior, as new photos prove that she did have sexual relations with Bennett when he was underage.
One of the photos leaked in the report shows Argento and Bennett in a hotel bed, shirtless, in 2013. Sources apparently told the site that the photo was taken post-sex and that Bennett was 17-years-old at the time–making it a crime in the state of California.
— Digital Consultant (@autofemmes) August 22, 2018
Additionally, TMZ obtained text messages between Argento and a friend after the New York Times article was published over the weekend. Argento claims she had no idea that Bennett was underage until she received the letter from him requesting the hush money. She also claimed she didn’t come forward out of pity for a “failed child actor.”
Argento added she has over 80 pages on Bennett from a private investigator Anthony Bourdain had hired. She also stated she didn’t want to pay Bennett off and wanted to come forward to the press about how she was being blackmailed for money. Instead, she claims Bourdain had pushed her to give Bennett the settlement money.
The texts go on to explain that Argento said if she loses her job, she’ll move to parts of the world that “don’t give a f**k about this sh*t.” Her friend, however, called Argento out for “not knowing his age,” when the two had worked together. Argento dodged the question and went on to say that in most countries, the age of consent is younger than 17-years-old. She added that when she had turned 17, she was with a 33-year-old man.
However, people on Twitter are feeling strongly about the accusations and the proof that has come out. Many are saying that Argento should be held to the standard she wishes to hold men to in the sexual assault cases. Others were furious to see her placing blame on Bourdain.
The men who were accused in the #metoo movement lost their careers, reputation and their livelihood. What about Asia Argento? As of today, she is still a part of the X Factor Italy. If a man did what they are accusing her, he would not be working tomorrow.
— Gloria Johnson (@ggirlno1) August 22, 2018
Asia Argento is placing blame on Anthony Bourdain. A man who loved her & she repaid by cheating on him. A man who struggled & lost his battle with depression but she acted like the victim of his suicide. A man who's not here to defend himself…truly bottom of the bin trash.
— Tired ◟̽◞̽ (@AnxiousVexation) August 21, 2018
More and more it appears Asia Argento was the virus that Anthony Bourdain could not shake. He paid her accuser $380K to protect her and spare her shame (and I tend to believe the allegations) and still, she’s throwing him under the bus now after his death. Victim? I think not.
— ??? ⚖️ (@TheKathyBray) August 21, 2018
Feminism is the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, not an excuse for women to be absolved from the consequences of their behavior. Asia Argento shifting the blame onto Anthony Bourdain is a reflection of her character alone & not the fight for gender equality.
— Renee (@ABougieFeminist) August 21, 2018
Asia Argento should not be using Anthony Bourdain to justify her actions. If you deny the allegations, do it on your own behalf. One can be both a victim and a perpetrator; but dissolving herself of any responsibility adds to her lack of credibility. #MeToo #AsiaArgento
— Caitlin Barlow (@Catalina1016) August 21, 2018
Asia Argento is denying in full that she ever had sex with the 17-yr-old. Which is interesting from a "believe all the victims" standpoint, if nothing else. https://t.co/Mnd8mT0k0S
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) August 21, 2018
Which was a worse reaction:
Kevin Spacey's " I choose now to live as a gay man"
Asia Argento's "Anthony Bourdain did it!"
— Pizza B@e (@yourtoyrobot) August 21, 2018
— NoseyMass (@NoseyMass) August 21, 2018
— Michelle Guido (@heyyguido) August 22, 2018
So @AsiaArgento immediately blames the victim who didn’t even leak this story I might add. This situation smells to high heaven and I hope it doesn’t deter other young men who have been victims of powerful women in Hollywood from coming forward. #AsiaArgento #metoo
— Jason Macumber (@JasonMacumber) August 21, 2018