MeToo activist Asia Argento settled sexual assault lawsuit

Lawrence Kim
August 20, 2018

The New York Times published a bombshell report on Sunday night by food writer Kim Severson that details how noted Harvey Weinstein accuser and #MeToo movement leader, Italian actress Asia Argento, recently paid $380,000 to squash a potential sexual assault scandal of her own involving a young actor who reportedly looked up to her as a motherly figure.

At the Cannes Film Festival's Closing Ceremony earlier this year, Argento spoke about Weinstein, saying, "In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes".

Included with the documents was a selfie showing the partially-nude couple in bed dated May 2013, when Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37, the report said.

Argento, who was dating celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain before his death, was one of the first actresses to accuse disgraced Miramax producer Weinstein of sexual assault in October previous year.

Argento's lawyer, Carrie Goldberg has not made an official comment and Bennett has not released a statement. The two then had intercourse before she asked him to take photos of them.

According to the legal documents obtained by the Times, Bennett was escorted to Argento's hotel by a family member in May of 2013 for a reunion of sorts.

In the documents, Bennett claims that on May 9, 2013, Argento served him an alcoholic drink at a room in the Marina Del Rey Ritz-Carlton and subsequently performed oral sex on him. Three people familiar with the case said the documents were authentic. His lawyer Gordon K. Sattro reportedly told the outlet, "In the coming days Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music". A woman who answered the phone at Goldberg's office Friday said the lawyer would not be available to discuss this article.

Bennett's notice of intent asked for $3.5 million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.

The fallout from "a sexual battery" was so traumatic that it hindered Bennett's work and income and threatened his mental health, according to a notice of intent to sue that his lawyer sent in November to Richard Hofstetter, Bourdain's longtime attorney, who was also representing Argento at the time. "We are not going to allow you to get away with it".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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