Italian actress and director Asia Argento, a #MeToo leader and one of the first women to speak out against producer Harvey Weinstein, allegedly struck a deal with actor and rock musician Jimmy Bennett, 22, who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Argento in a California hotel room when he was 17.
According to The New York Times, it received the documents that laid out the details of the assault and the subsequent deal struck between Argento and Bennett through encrypted email from an unidentified source. The documents which also included a photograph of them lying together in bed said that Argento had agreed to pay $380,000 to Bennett, who played the role of her son in the movie The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.
Bennett did not agree to be interviewed while Argento was not available for comment, the report added. The incident happened on May 9, 2013, when the two had met at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in California. The report says that Argento, then 37, who was a mother-like figure to Bennett, served him alcohol and subsequently had sexual intercourse with him.
The incident left Bennett in such a bad shape that it took a toll on him mentally and professionally. Bennett, who had made $2.7 million in the five years before the incident saw his income drop to an average of $60,000 a year, which he blames on the trauma caused by the incident. The documents state that Bennett asked for $3.5 million in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.
Argento was one among the 13 women profiled by the New Yorker magazine in connection with the sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein. During a speech at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year, Argento said that she had been raped by Weinstein in 1997 when she was only 21 years old and that the festival was a ‘hunting ground’ for him.
Image Courtesy: LATimes