The famous Italian actress who was one of the first to come out in open to accuse the sexual predator Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault has finally responded.
She said in response to a New York Times report that she allegedly paid off her own sexual assault accuser.
Asia Argento denied of the sexual assault saying that she never had a sexual relationship with an underage male while responding to a New York Times report on Sunday.
Asia Argento was one of the first to accuse Harvey Weinstein in open of sexual assault, and is accused of paying off a young male actor secretly who accused her of sexual misconduct in the months after her revelations about the disgraced movie mogul.
Argento claimed that the assault never even happened.
However, she revealed that a payment was made to this child actor Jimmy Bennett by her boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, so Bennett would stop bothering them.
"I am deeply shocked and hurt having read the news that is absolutely false," she said in a statement obtained by journalist Yashar Ali. "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
Argento says Bennett tried to extort her. And rather than having a long, drawn-out battle in the press amid the Weinstein scandal, it was Bourdain who said a payment would be made in order to make the situation disappear, she said.
Read Asia Argento's full statement:
I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news.
I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.
I was linked to him during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequent to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett — who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously undertaken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages — unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me. Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect.
Antony [sic] insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett's demand for help and give it to him. Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life.
This is, therefore, the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution. I have therefore no other choice but to oppose such false allegations and will assume in the short term all necessary initiatives for my protection before all competent venues.
I’ve said repeatedly that the #metooMVMT is for all of us, including these brave young men who are now coming forward. It will continue to be jarring when we hear the names of some of our faves connected to sexual violence unless we shift from talking about individuals [+]— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) August 20, 2018
...and begin to talk about power. Sexual violence is about power and privilege. That doesn’t change if the perpetrator is your favorite actress, activist or professor of any gender.— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) August 20, 2018
And we won’t shift the culture unless we get serious about shifting these false narratives.
I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere.— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) August 20, 2018
This is how #MeToo reacted?
Tarana Burke, founder of the movement, said there was "no model survivor" and warned that the latest accusations would be used by some to discredit #MeToo.
She tweeted that the movement is for male as well as female victims.