A recent report says that actress and director Asia Argento has arranged to pay a settlement amount to a young actor who had accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17 years old.
The New York Times had reported that actor and rock musician Jimmy Bennett had accused Argento of sexually assaulting him in a California hotel room five years ago. Jimmy was not 18 at that time as the assault was alleged to have taken place 2 months after his 17th birthday. The age of consent in California is 18. While Jimmy was 17 at that time, Argento was 37.
Jimmy had worked as Argento’s son in “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” a 2004 film which she directed and starred in. Argento reportedly agreed to pay $380,000 in installments to Bennett last year. The arrangements of the payment had been laid out on paper.
Apparently, Argento had also reported a sexual assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. She said that the assault took place in New Yorker last year. Anthony Bourdain, her late boyfriend had supported her in this statement. He later committed suicide earlier this year.
Weinstein has been charged in New York with six felony counts of sex assault, including rape since the New Yorker exposé. None of these charges involve Argento. As many as 70 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Bennett’s lawyer described Argento’s Weinstein revelations as a painful reminder of his client’s own experiences. This is why Bennett finally moved to press his case against her.
Bennett said that the “sexual battery” has affected his work as well as his mental health. In a notice, his attorney had asked for $3.5 million in damages for the emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.
Bennett’s attorney said that the alleged assault took place at a Los Angeles hotel room when the two had a reunion in 2013 . The Times reported that Argento allegedly performed oral sex on Bennett and then they had intercourse. According to the notice of intent, after returning from the hotel room, the teenager was feeling extremely confused, mortified and disgusted. As mentioned earlier, he wasn’t 18 at that time.
Bennett turned over a selfie of the two of them in bed together that day as part of the settlement deal, and assigned its copyright to Argento.
Argento and her representatives were not ready for a comment when asked about the proceedings of this matter. There statement is still awaited.