Actress Asia Argento and her friend, the model Rain Dove, engaged in a contentious argument over Twitter on Wednesday, after Dove shared a link to a news story in which Argento’s lawyer, Mark Heller, claimed that actor Jimmy Bennett was guilty of “sexually attacking” and then extorting Argento. Argento had been silent on Twitter since it was reported by The New York Times that she had reached a $380,000 settlement with Bennett, who had accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17 years old. Argento has denied having a sexual relationship with Bennett, but a leaked text message conversation between Dove and Argento appeared to show the actress admitting to having sex with Bennett.
“I had sex with him and it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter. The public knows nothing, only what [The New York Times] wrote. Which is one-sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me,” one of the leaked text messages read.
In the article linked to by Dove, Heller claimed that Bennett had effectively extorted Argento’s late partner, Anthony Bourdain, by threatening to “[embarrass] Asia and indirectly Bourdain,” adding that Argento had denied having a sexual relationship with him because she considered it a “one night stand” and that she was planning to prevent $130,000 of the settlement that remained unpaid from being transferred to Bennett.
“Why is your attourneybstill [sic] saying that your relationship wasn’t sexual?!” wrote Dove in response to the article. “Tell the truth @AsiaArgento . Please. Be the person You demand others to be and TELL THE TRUTH.”
Argento then replied to Dove, telling the model that it was actually “time for YOU to tell the truth, if you are capable,” accusing them of “selling selected text messages in order to portray me for something I am not.” Argento also alleged that Dove had lied to her by claiming to have found evidence of a secret cover-up regarding the circumstances of Bourdain’s death — and posted text messages in which Dove appeared to suggest that Food Network executives had hidden “the truth” about the popular chef’s suicide.
Dove hit back, calling their investigation “great work” and insisting that Argento was “[hurting] victims’ voices everywhere” by accusing Bennett of rape, and that she needed to be more truthful about her “sexual dynamic w Jimmy Bennett.” In the end, however, the two did appear to resolve the contentious conversation on a positive note, as Dove, who is gender non-comforming and prefers pronouns like “they” and “them,” wrote out that they cared about Asia and that they “always believed you” — a sentiment that Argento echoed by replying back, “Ditto.”
The Twitter conversation between the two #MeToo advocates went silent for a while, but the larger discussion about the allegations against Argento — and it’s broader impact on the #MeToo movement at large — is only continuing to grow. On Wednesday, Argento posted a video of herself on Instagram stories showing her riding in a car and singing along to the Bob Dylan song “Positively 4th Street, ” a move that seemed aimed at, or perhaps a commentary on, Dove. The opening lyrics of the song, which Argento can be seen mouthing, are as follows:
You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’
You say you’ve lost your faith, but that’s not where its at
You have no faith to lose, and ya know it
When you know as well as me, you’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once and scream it
No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace’
Read the full story at Yahoo News.