UPDATE: Sept. 6, 2018
This story continues to unfold. Argento initially denied accusations outright, saying “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett,” but since text messages surfaced of her telling a friend “the horny kid jumped me I had sex with him it felt weird,” Argento has changed her response. Now, she’s reporting that she was violated by Bennett.
A new statement from Argento’s attorney, Mark Heller, stated: “Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.”
He went on to elaborate about the $380,000 paid to Bennett, which could be perceived as hush money, claiming: “It was inaccurately revealed that a $380,000 settlement had been paid by Asia to Bennett in an attempt to preclude Bennett from making any allegations against Asia which would certainly create the impression that Asia was responsible for the alleged incident,” the statement continued. “Bourdain chose to protect Asia’s and his reputation and to pay Bennett and allowed Bennett to extract payments from him … now that Mr. Bourdain has passed away and is not able to comment on his desire to avoid potential scandal which resulted in his facilitating payment to Bennett, Asia will not permit any portion of the balance of the $380,000 payment to be paid to Bennett who has already received $250,000 from Anthony Bourdain.”
Heller also alluded to Argento’s situation being a “misunderstood interaction between her and Bennett that was initiated by the teen.” “He detailed further that she was the victim and Bennett’s attack subsequently led to her ‘freezing’ and being placed in a ‘state of shock.'”
This latest statement contradicts what DiversityInc previously reported as her admission of guilt based on text messages and a selfie of the two in bed together last month.
Just two days ago, Asia Argento denied any sexual involvement with Jimmy Bennett then 17-years old.
Although she isn’t the founder of the #MeToo movement, Argento was one of many women involved in the calling out of one of Hollywood’s alleged biggest sexual predators, Harvey Weinstein.
But, in a shocking turn of events, the actress was forced to admit her guilt when a photo of her and Bennett in bed surfaced. The photo was taken in a Marina del Rey hotel room back in 2013.
The then 37-year-old Argento and Bennett are on a bed shirtless, their heads on a pillow and their arms intertwined. It’s a crime in California for an adult to have sex with a person under 18.
On Wednesday, Bennett, now 22, released a statement that reads: “I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time.”
This statement references the $380,000 payoff from Argento’s beau, Anthony Bourdain, who committed suicide on June 5 of this year.
Bennett took to his Instagram to express his emotions over his decision to come forward.
Bennett and Argento worked together on a movie when he was 7 years old.
TMZ also published text messages, allegedly from Argento, saying, “I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter.”
Sources are now saying Argento has privately admitted to the sexual assault, even though she denied it publicly.