Italian actress Asia Argento denies sexual assault

Italian actress Asia Argento denies sexual assault

In a statement given to the reporter Yashar Ali, Asia said she "strongly denies and opposes" the content in a New York Times article that has since been circulated in national and worldwide publications. Argento said that Bourdain, who died in June of apparent suicide, "insisted the matter be handled privately..."

Italian actress Asia Argento, an outspoken advocate in the movement against sexual harassment, denied on Tuesday ever having had sexual relations with Jimmy Bennett, an actor who the New York Times reported had accused her of sexual assault. Bennett says he was 17 when it happened in a hotel room in Southern California in 2013.

The reality singing television show "X Factor Italy" on which Argento is a judge has said it would cut ties with her if the allegation was confirmed. The report additionally found the documents, which arranged for a payment to Bennett for $380,000, were filed months after she spoke out about Weinstein and became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement.

Argento claimed that he first forced himself on her in 1997, and that there were other encounters through the years where she was afraid to refuse his advances because of the power he wielded in the industry. "We are not going to allow you to get away with it".

Attorney Benjamin Brafman, seen at left with his client Harvey Weinstein in May, issued a statement that blasted Argento, among the most outspoken accusers of the former film mogul.

However, Rosanna Arquette, who also accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, questioned The Times' report and cautioned people to wait for Argento's response.

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Actor/director Asia Argento attends the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 12, 2018. She said she strongly denies the contents ofTthe New York Times article.

Bennett and Argento first met when he appeared at age 7 in Argento's 2004 film "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things", according to the Times. "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennet".

This is not to say that Argento is lying, of course, but to point out that the rules of #MeToo, while ostensibly well-intended, can be severely damaging, fostering a culture that vilifies and destroys without evidence.

The sheriff's department in Los Angeles county, where the alleged assault took place, have said they are trying to contact the alleged victim.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony sex crimes - two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, one first-degree criminal sex act charge and one criminal sex act.

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