Model Rain Dove has issued a statement regarding a text message conversation with actress Asia Argento in which the actress appeared to admit having had sex with actor Jimmy Bennett when he was 17. The model acknowledged that the messages were turned over to police due to the belief that Argento was lying when she denied sexual involvement with the actor. Dove, who is gender-nonconforming and prefers neutral pronouns like they and their, is the source of the since-leaked text message conversation between the model and Argento that was recently disclosed by Dove’s partner, actress Rose McGowan. Dove said that Argento had reached out to them ahead of The New York Times publishing the explosive report revealing that Argento and her late partner Anthony Bourdain had made a $380,000 settlement payment to Bennett to prevent him from seeking legal action and going public with his accusations.
In an interview with The New York Times, Dove said they told Argento that “you need the truth to be on the table” and to “not put down the person who’s accusing you,” but that the actress instead proceeded to put out a statement denying she had sex with Bennett and claiming that the actor was financially motivated in making the claim against her.
“When it became apparent that they were not going to allow for justice to occur or truth to be on the table, I knew I had no choice but to go forward because otherwise I would be complicit in robbing another individual of the ability to have their story heard,” Dove told NBC’s Today in a Skype interview. So Dove made the decision to hand the texts over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where an investigation into the case is ongoing.
Argento, Dove added, has blamed them and McGowan for leaking the text conversation — an accusation that both said they denied. But before turning the text messages over to police, Dove acknowledged, they did share them with a small circle of people to ask for guidance on how to proceed — one of whom might have leaked the messages. Regardless, Dove said that their role in the case was not important, and that the focus should remain on allowing Bennett’s story to be heard and justice to be pursued. And once the investigation is concluded, Dove said, they believed that Argento will be better off for it.
“At the end of it, once we’ve all come clean and all the truth is on the table, I do believe Asia Argento could if she really wants to could come back from this,” Dove told the Times.
Watch Dove’s appearance on Today below.
Read the full story at The New York Times.