Asia Argento Says Late Boyfriend Anthony Bourdain Paid Off Her Sexual Assault Accuser
Italian actress Asia Argento has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct made against her by a former co-star.
In a New York Times article published on Sunday evening, actor Jimmy Bennett — who played Argento's son in the 2004 film, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things — accused the actress of sexual misconduct for an encounter in 2013, when he was an underage 17-year-old. In the Times, the hotel room-event was characterized as "a betrayal that precipitated a spiral of emotional problems." An arrangement was then made for Argento to pay Bennett $380,000 over the course of a year and a half.
On Tuesday morning, journalist Yashar Ali published a statement from Argento in which she not only denied Bennett's misconduct claims, but added that her boyfriend of the time, the late Anthony Bourdain, had made the payment to stop Bennett from harassing the couple.
"I am deeply shocked and hurt having read the news that is absolutely false," she said. "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
"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 added in her statement.
The New York Times article made a splash given Argento's prominence in the #MeToo movement. The actress was one of the first to come forward with sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein late last year.
California police are now looking into the allegations against Argento.