Italian actress and director Asia Argento, who became a #MeToo leader after being one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a man who accused her of sexual misconduct when he was only a minor.
The New York Times reports that in the months following her accusations against Weinstein, “Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.”
The Times claims that an anonymous source sent them documents including a photo “of the two lying in bed” that Bennett agreed to give to Argento, along with the copyright to it.
The alleged incident happened on May 9, 2013, when one of Bennett’s family members drove him to meet Argento at her hotel room. Bennett was unable to drive himself because he reportedly suffers from a vision problem that prevents him from being able to drive.
“Ms. Argento asked the family member to leave so she could be alone with the actor,” the Times states. “She gave him alcohol to drink and showed him a series of notes she had written to him on hotel stationery.”
“Then she kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex,” the Times continued. “She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the document says. She then asked him to take a number of photos.”
Neither Argento or her lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, have made a statement regarding the allegations and did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the newspaper.