Harvey Weinstein assault victim Asia Argento accused of sexual harassment by former teen co-star Jimmy Bennett
Italian actor Asia Argento who has been at the front of the #MeToo movement has been accused of sexual harassment by former teenage co-star Jimmy Bennett. Asia had earlier accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, but in a turn of events, actor and rock musician Jimmy has said she paid him ‘hush money’ earlier in April.
According to various media reports, 22-year-old Jimmy Bennett claimed in 2013, Asia assaulted him in a California hotel room, according to documents submitted to a leading American publication by an unknown source. The documents went on to add that Jimmy was paid 3,80,000 dollars, of which the payment was finalised in April. Jimmy, was reported, two months past his 17th birthday at the time as Argento was 37, and the legal age for consent in California is 18 years. The documents submitted also contain a selfie of the pair in bed and dated May 9, 2013, which is supposed to be handed to Argento, as part of an agreement.
While Asia Argento’s lawyer has said that the money to Bennett was given to deal with people who were “preying on his strengths and weaknesses”, the accuser’s lawyer has said the hotel encounter is “sexual battery” that traumatized the former actor, threatening his mental health and income. Interestingly, Jimmy Bennett’s legal action was launched a month after Argento’s accusations became public. Hollywood actors Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett acted together in 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, in which Argento plays Bennett’s troubled mother.
Asia Argento had accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her when she was 21, in his hotel room, during the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. Her late boyfriend and television food critic Anthony Bourdain also spoke about sexual misconduct by people in control in the film industry.