This tells you how far @AsiaArgento's delusions of grandeur have progressed. The lawyer's statement is entitled "The Second Phase of #MeToo " #AsiaArgento, you were never in charge and no one is going to listen to you now. You do not get to decide the direction of the movement. https://t.co/kV2HRiR5EZ— VelliniVerso (@VelliniV) September 6, 2018
Asia Argento was one of the first voices against Harvey Weinstein, often touted as a pioneer of the #MeToo movement.
However, the tables have turned since August.
Argento who once accused Weinstein of raping her is now embattled in similar accusations where she reportedly paid $380,000 to Jimmy Bennett — a child actor who had worked with Argento in a 2004 film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.” He played her son in the movie.
Bennett claimed Argento allegedly sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room when was only 17-years-old — a year younger than the age of consent in California. Argento was 37 at the time.
The documents which detail the arrangement between the two parties were reportedly sent to The New York Times through encrypted email by an unidentified party.
They included a selfie dated May 9, 2013, of the two lying in bed.
Argento, who initially flat out denied the allegations, has now announced “phase two” of the #MeToo movement has commenced.
Mark Jay Heller released a lengthy statement by Argento after text messages surfaced that the actress indeed had sex with Bennett. However, she now claims she was actually “jumped” by the “kid” and was the victim rather than the perpetrator in the scenario.
In the statement, Argento claims she was “frozen” during sex with Bennett who initiated the sexual encounter.
“Her relationship with Bennett was never sexual, but rather the relationship was a long distance friendship over many years. As revealed in texts messages published by TMZ, Asia stated ‘The horny kid jumped me…I had sex with him it felt weird.’ She went on to relate that she became ‘frozen’ when he was on top of her and he told her that she had been his sexual fantasy since he was 12 years old. Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her,” read the statement.
The statement also elaborated on the payment made to Bennett and claimed that Argento was completely against paying off Bennett because “she had done nothing wrong.” Argento, who was dating acclaimed, and recently deceased, Chef Anthony Bourdain, said her boyfriend was adamant they pay off her accuser so they can fend off any negative media coverage.
“When Bennett learned of the romantic relationship between Asia and Anthony Bourdain and believing that Anthony Bourdain was wealthy and had an outstanding reputation to protect and that they were both vulnerable to embarrassment because they were recognized as early and prominent supporters of the #metoo movement, Bennett chose to intrude on that relationship and demanded a financial payment from Bourdain in consideration for not embarrassing Asia and indirectly Bourdain by virtue of Bourdain’ relationship with Asia. Bourdain chose to protect Asia’s and his reputation and to pay Bennett and allowed Bennett to extract payments from him. Asia was completely against this approach because she had done nothing wrong and especially since the incident was initiated and perpetrated by Bennett against her, but she respected Anthony’s choice to avoid the potential intrusion into their relationship and the negative impact it might have against Bourdain and his high profile position in the Media community,” Heller wrote.
The statement, at various instances, accused Bennett of being the assaulter, not the victim, despite claiming Argento wanted everyone, even Bennett, to speak about sexual assault without any fear.
“Asia believes that pursuant to Phase Two of the #metoo movement Bennett’s troubled history, be it true or false, should not preclude Bennett from making his allegations against her, any more than Asia’s allegations against Harvey Weinstein should not be made. Asia believes that in Phase Two of the #metoo movement, everyone should come forward, tell their story regardless of their past, which in Asia’s circumstances constitutes a misunderstood interaction between her and Bennett that was initiated by Bennett, perpetrated upon Asia, and resulted in her ‘freezing’ and being placed in a ‘state of shock’,” read the statement.
Bombshell allegations against Argento have people fearing their impact on the #MeToo movement and how it has established an opening to undermine the campaign, if one of its most prominent names is accused of sexual assault.
Thumbnail/ Banner credits: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo