Activist Rose McGowan bluntly stated that pal Asia Argento should “be the person you wish Harvey [Weinstein] could have been” in a new statement regarding sexual assault claims against the Italian actress.
McGowan admitted that the assault claims against the filmmaker, activist, and alleged Harvey Weinstein victim were indeed valid in a lengthy statement published by Deadline Hollywood.
In her second set of remarks since news first emerged of Argento being involved with then-minor Jimmy Bennet in 2013 and paying him off for his silence, McGowan spoke of her relationship with Argento and her insight into the delicate situation.
Although the two women became close due to their shared experiences with Weinstein, McGowan was blunt and direct in the criticism of her friend.
“There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault,” McGowan stated on August 27.
Jimmy Bennett alleges that he and Argento had a sexual relationship when he was a minor, age 17.
The New York Times reported that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 after the alleged sexual assault against the actor. Argento denied the assault claims but later acknowledged her then-boyfriend, the late chef Anthony Bourdain, paid Bennett.
In a statement to NBC News, Bennett said in part, “I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time.”
The actress and activist then went on to make a series of statements regarding what she knew about the situation between Argento and actor Jimmy Bennett.
“Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not,” McGowan stated.
“Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t. We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices.
“I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating- Rain Dove, who said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet. Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12.
“Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media.
“What was hard was the shell shock of the realization that everything the Me Too movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy,” McGowan feared.
The actress then said she “loved” Argento and hoped she found her way through this experience and become a better person.
McGowan concluded her lengthy statement with the following message.
“Anyone can be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.”