Rose McGowan has called on her friend and fellow #MeToo advocate and alleged Harvey Weinstein victim, Asia Argento, “to be honest” and “be the person you wish Harvey could have been” in response to news that Argento paid off Jimmy Bennett, an actor who has accused Argento of sexually abusing him when he was 17.
In a statement, McGowan acknowledged that she had become close friends with Argento over the past year, but that there must be “no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault” and that she hopes Argento can find the courage to “do the right thing,” “be honest,” and to “be the person you wish Harvey could have been.” McGowan also revealed that it was her partner, Rain Dove, who was talking to Argento in leaked text messages in which the actress appeared to admit to having had sex with Bennett. Dove, she explained, had told her about their conversation ahead of turning the texts over to police. According to Dove, McGowan added, Argento also said that “she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12,” but that Argento had never reported his behavior or even responded to tell him to stop doing so.
“It’s sad to lose a friend connection,” wrote McGowan. “But what’s even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennett. Whether or not the extortion case is true — it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. It is the type of thing I fight against alongside so many.”
“The reason I haven’t released a statement is because I’ve frankly been extremely humbled by this event. I had to take a step back and realize that in my own activism while I fight hard with passion — I need to evolve. In the past I have been occasionally angry. As a victim I was justified in fiery feelings. But I know that those accused are the friends, parents, and family members of other people,” McGowan continued. “As allies to the victim and voyeurs of an event we should find a better way to balance support of the victim with due process for the accused … This week especially has made me come to terms with the fact that we all have a lot of growing to do, including myself … We can not let this moment break the momentum of a movement that has freed so many people. We must use it to allow us to become stronger. More compassionate. More aware. And more organized.”
Meanwhile professional fallout has reportedly hit Argento. The actress has reportedly lost her job as a judge on X Factor Italy. The show is set to begin airing on September 6 and, according to Variety, she will appear on the first seven episodes, which have already been shot. The decision to removed her from the show came amid mounting pressure from people on social media calling for her dismissal.
In the leaked text messages, Argento had suggested that she might “move to Africa or the Amazon forest” so she could “be among the 90 percent of the world that doesn’t give a fuck about this shit.” Bennett, now 22, also recently spoke up about his allegations against Argento for the first time, saying that he didn’t come forward sooner “because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative.”
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— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 28, 2018