Get ready to do some double takes, because this week’s newsletter is all about the surprising stories that threw us for a loop. Let’s review:
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 a damning report by The New York Times. An anonymous source sent the publication a notice of intent to sue from the lawyer of Jimmy Bennett, an actor and musician, to Argento’s attorney. The document claims that Argento forcefully initiated a sexual encounter in May of 2013, when she was 37 and Bennett was 17. In a statement, Bennett said that he did not come forward sooner because he “didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy.”
We can’t get enough of this Washington Post profile about counselor to Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway, who is a vocal critic of the president. George, once a devoted Trump supporter, has left the Republican party — he says he’s “unaffiliated” — and has spent months hammering away at Trump on Twitter. The couple seems to be getting on fine, though George’s tweets are obviously a sore point. “It is disrespectful, it’s a violation of basic decency, certainly, if not marital vows,” Conway tsaid, before backtracking and trying to suggest that the comment was made off the record. Don’t know about you, but we would pay cash money to be a silent observer at the Conway dinner table.
About two dozen winners of the Miss America pageant called for CEO Gretchen Carlson and other prominent members of the organization to step down after reigning titleholder Cara Mund wrote a five-page open letter accusing the organization of “disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion.” That Carlson is named in the letter is particularly surprising. She took over as CEO of Miss America in January, after key leaders were revealed to have exchanged derogatory emails about past Miss Americas. Previously, she had exposed longstanding misconduct by former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and is an outspoken voice for sexual harassment victims. Carlson has denied Mund’s allegations.
New Zealand’s minister for women drove herself to the hospital delivery room — on her bicycle. Julie Anne Genter, who was 42 weeks pregnant at the time, posted an Instagram photo that showed her standing next to a bike, and wrote in a caption that the ride to the hospital put her in the “best possible mood” before her induction. She later delivered a baby boy. Genter is also New Zealand’s associate transport minister and an avid cyclist; if her Instagram account is any indication, she rode her bike throughout her pregnancy. Brb, just watching all our excuses for not exercising crumble and fly off into the wind.