Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Asia Argento settled sexual assault complaint from Jimmy Bennett

Asia Argento settled sexual assault complaint from Jimmy Bennett

Asia Argento, an actress and director at the center of the #MeToo movement, recently paid off a former child actor who said she sexually assaulted him in a Marina del Rey hotel room when he was 17, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The document lays out Mr. Bennett's account: Ms. Argento asked the family member to leave so she could be alone with the actor.

Argento's lawyer Carrie Goldberg described the money as "helping Mr Bennett", lamenting that the actress had to deal with people "who preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses". The age of consent in California is 18. It was then that Argento allegedly gave Bennett alcohol and had sexual intercourse with him.

According to documents obtained by The New York Times, Argento, made a deal with former child actor-musician Jimmy Bennett for the amount of $380,000, payable over the period of a year-and-a-half.

Bennett - who played Asia's son in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things - alleged in the filing that the incident was so traumatic that it "hindered his work and income and threatened his mental health".

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The papers sent to The New York Times through encrypted email by an unidentified party include a selfie dated 9 May, 2013, of the duo lying in bed.

Representatives for Argento could not be immediately reached for comment. Three people familiar with the case alleged verified that the documents are real.

Argento became one of the most well-known activists of the #MeToo movement after she told the New Yorker magazine that Weinstein raped her at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 when she was 21. Argento posted a photo on that day showing her hugging Bennett, referring to him as "My son my love", and included the month and year. Bennett asked for $3.5 million in damages for "the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery".

Bennett's legal action was launched a month after Argento's accusations against Weinstein were made public, the Times said, adding that his lawyer claimed his client recalled the hotel encounter after seeing Argento present herself as a victim of sexual assault. A woman who answered the phone at Goldberg's office Friday said the lawyer would not be available to discuss this article.

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