Actress Asia Argento Reportedly Paid Off Sexual Assault Accuser

Actress Asia Argento Reportedly Paid Off Sexual Assault Accuser

The New York Times published a bombshell report on Sunday night by food writer Kim Severson that details how noted Harvey Weinstein accuser and #MeToo movement leader, Italian actress Asia Argento, recently paid $380,000 to squash a potential sexual assault scandal of her own involving a young actor who reportedly looked up to her as a motherly figure.

Argento, 42, was one of the first women to publicly accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape past year. Bennet, now 22, played Argento's son in a 2014 movie called The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. She did not reply to messages left on her phone, sent by email and sent to two of her agents, who agreed to forward them to her. Carrie Goldberg, her lawyer who handled the matter, read email messages from The Times, according to two people familiar with the case, but she has not responded. At the time, Bennett was only two months past his 17th birthday, while Argento was 37.

The document lays out Mr. Bennett's account: Ms. Argento asked the family member to leave so she could be alone with the actor.

Representatives for Argento could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press for comment. As part of the deal, Bennett handed over to Argento the rights to a photograph of the two of them in bed. "We are not going to allow you to get away with it".

Bennett's lawyer filed a notice of intent demanding $3.5 million in damages in November - one month after Argento, the longtime girlfriend of the late Anthony Bourdain, and 12 other women publicly accused Weinstein of rape, according to The Times. "You are a powerful and inspiring creator and it is a miserable condition of life that you live among shitty individuals who've preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses".

Argento told the magazine that she continued to have a relationship with Weinstein because she was afraid of angering him.

The notice claimed that Argento's "sexual battery" of Bennett left him with lasting emotional trauma that rendered him unable to make a living, the report said.