WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Actor Jimmy Bennett speaks out about his sexual assault case against Asia Argento after the actress became an influential part of the #MeToo campaign.
- Argento allegedly assaulted him in 2013 when he was only 17, but the case was settled for $380,000.
- While Argento denied the allegations and claimed her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain provided the money for their privacy, leaked messages showed the actress admitted to having sex with Bennett.
Jimmy Bennett, the actor who has accused Asia Argento of sexual assault, said in a statement to the New York Times that he wanted “to handle it in private with the person who wronged [him]” before speaking out, and that he was “ashamed” by the stigma surrounding male sexual assault victims.
Bennett claims that in 2013, Argento, who was 37 at the time, assaulted him in a California hotel when he was only 17. She allegedly gave him alcohol, kissed him, pushed him on the bed, and performed oral sex before having intercourse.
Bennett had a legal settlement with Argento last year for $380,000 after his legal team told her he planned to sue.
Bennett, now 22, told the Times that his trauma “resurface[d]” when Argento came out to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape.
He declared, “I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I chose to move forward, no longer in silence.”
Meanwhile, Argento has denied any allegations of sexual assault.
While she did admit to the settlement, she claimed it was because Bennett made extreme monetary demands. She explained that the money was provided by her boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, to prevent any further intrusions in their lives.
Argento told The Guardian “Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth, and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect. Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such a person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us.”
However, just last Wednesday, TMZ published leaked text messages in which Argento allegedly admits to having sex with Bennett, while claiming she didn’t know how old he was.
In the alleged messages to a friend, Argento said, “The horny kid jumped me. I had sex with him it felt weird.”
The paparazzi site also published a photo taken allegedly on the day of the assault, in which Argento and Bennett are seen lying shirtless together.
Source: New York Daily News