Asia Argento released a statement today in response to the allegations from former child-actor Jimmy Bennett that she had paid him off to silence him over a sexual assault.
As is often the case in situations like these, Argento has seemingly only made matters worse. She claims that she is the target of what appears to be a blackmail scheme by a troubled young man with a history of lawsuits (he sued his parents over money they held from him, which is not uncommon among child actors). Further, while she denies sexual contact, she doesn’t really explain away the Instagram photos that we have seen, nor the three pictures of Argento and Bennett lying on the bed in the hotel room without their tops on. That’s not normal hanging-around-with-friends behavior, nor frankly is inviting a 17-year-old to your hotel room, providing him with alcohol, and asking the family member in the room to leave.
Most concerning, however, is that Argento seems to be shifting blame to a man who cannot defend himself, Anthony Bourdain, who took his own life in June.
“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 is also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought on us.”
Argento did not dispute paying Bennett $380,000, nor the details of the settlement agreement.
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