Asia Argento said she was giving fellow actress Rose McGowan 24 hours to withdraw a statement in which the latter alleged Argento had sexually assaulted actor Jimmy Bennett, Page Six reported. McGowan released a statement on August 27, in which she claimed her partner, Rain Dove, told her Argento confirmed she was sexually involved with Bennett when he was only 17-years-old.
The two stars became close after they both came forward and accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting them, becoming two of the most recognizable faces behind the #MeToo movement. But now Argento is threatening legal action.
Argento was recently accused of sexually assaulting Bennett in a California hotel room when he was only 17 and she was 37, as per the New York Times.
She then allegedly paid the young co-star $380,000 in a bid to keep him quiet, an arrangement that was laid out in documents between the two actors’ lawyers, which were sent anonymously to the New York Times.
Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th. If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.
— Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) September 17, 2018
The documents included a picture of Argento and the now-22-year-old Bennett lying in bed together. The agreement stated that Bennett handed the photograph and its copyright to the xXx actress.
According to McGowan’s August statement, Argento sent Dove text messages in which she admitted to having had sex with the underage actor. She also said she encouraged Dove to hand the messages over to the police.
“What was hard was the shell shock of the realization that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy,” McGowan said.
The Grindhouse actress also urged Argento to tell the truth about the alleged incident.
“Asia you were my friend … Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been,” she said.
Argento has denied the allegations, and claimed her boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, paid the hush money as he feared negative press.
But according to Page Six, Dove turned the text messages to the police, saying “all victims deserve justice.” It was also reported that Bennett is getting ready to file an official police report in Los Angeles.
In the messages, Argento allegedly claimed it was the minor who “jumped her.”
Argento and Bennett shot the 2004 movie The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things together, in which the Italian actress played his mother.