Asia Argento, whose sexual assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein helped spur the #MeToo movement, paid $380,000 to a man who accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was a teenager, according to an explosive report in the New York Times.
An anonymous source sent the publication a number of documents that include a notice of intent to sue from the lawyer of Jimmy Bennett, an actor and musician, to Argento’s attorney.
When he was 7 years old, Bennett played Argento’s son in the film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. They reportedly stayed in contact over the years and, according to social media posts by both parties, met for a reunion at a California hotel in May of 2013. At the time, Bennett was 17. Argento was 37.
The document claims that when Bennett got to her hotel room, Argento asked a family member who accompanied him to leave. She then gave him alcohol, “kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex,” the Times writes. “She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the document says. She then asked him to take a number of photos.” One of the images, which Bennett handed over to Argento as part of the settlement, was leaked to the Times. It reportedly shows Argento and Bennett in bed.
After he left the meeting, Bennett began to feel “extremely confused, mortified, and disgusted,” according to the document. The notice of intent asked for $3.5 million in compensation, saying that Bennett had suffered a steep loss of income due to trauma from “a sexual battery.”
Argento and her representatives did not respond to the Times’ request for comment. Bennett declined the publication’s request for an interview.
Read the full story at the New York Times.