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Asia Argento Being Investigated Over Statutory Rape Settlement

August 20, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Asia Argento

Asia Argento is being investigated over a settlement of $380,000 she agreed to pay to a former child actor due to statutory rape claims. The New York Times filed the initial report that Argento, one of the first people to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, settled with Jimmy Bennett over a claim that she committed “sexual battery” against him in 2013 when he was seventeen years old.

Bennett’s attorney sent Argento a letter late last year indicating an intent to sue over the allegation. Bennet says they met up on May 9th, 2013 and she gave him alcohol, kissed him, push him back onto the bed and performed oral sex on him before initiating sexual intercourse. Bennett’s lawyer said his client had pictures, including one that allegedly depicts them both lying topless in bed. Argento agreed to pay an initial payment of $200,000 out of the $380,000 for the copyright for the photo.

Argento did not ask for a non-disclosure agreement, as she felt it was inconsistent with her public statements that NDAs inappropriately protect people in power. Argento’s lawyer said in an email, “Bennett could theoretically tell people his claims against you. However, under this agreement, he cannot sue you for them. Nor can he post the photo of the two of you. At the very he is not permitted to bother you for more money, disparage you or sue — so long as you comply with your obligations in the agreement.”

According to TMZ, law enforcement sources initially declined to pursue because Bennett has not filed a complaint. However, with media attention being drawn to the case, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will open an investigation into the allegations.

Argento has yet to comment on the report. Since the news hit, Rose McGowan – another prominent member of the #MeToo movement who, like Argento, was an early accuser of Harvey Weinstein – has commented, posting to Twitter:

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Asia Argento, Jeremy Thomas