Asia Argento’s lawyer claimed on Wednesday that she was raped by then 17-year-old Jimmy Bennett in 2013, not the other way around.
In response, Bennett, who is now 22, announced he is filing assault charges against her.
Argento’s attorney Mark Heller said in a statement “Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.”
In 2013, Argento was 37 and Bennett was under the age of consent, which is 18 in the state of California, where the alleged assault took place.
Heller also claims the settlement Argento agreed to pay earlier this year or late last year, after Bennett accused her of sexually assaulting him, was $380,000 as, previously reported by the far-left New York Times; but only $250,000 has so far been paid out. As of now, Argento is refusing to pay the rest.
What’s more, as was the case with Argento’s original statement after the bombshell news of the settlement was first released, Heller appears to lay much, if not all of the blame for Argento agreeing to the settlement on CNN celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, her boyfriend at the time, who hanged himself in a Paris hotel room in June:
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.
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 a 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.
The context here is important. Shortly after Argento became a #MeToo heroine in October of 2017, she reportedly was approached by Bennett’s lawyers demanding money in exchange for the alleged sexual assault.
The news that Argento was accused of assaulting someone, much less a minor she has known since he was a child, since they c0-starred together as mother and son in a movie Argento directed, would have been devastating to both Argento and Bourdain.
For his part, Bourdain had been using his considerable clout to champion Argento as equal parts victim (allegedly of Harvey Weinstein) and fearless truth-teller.
Had the news broke, both of their reputations would have taken a hit in a messy scandal.
Argento now appears to want to blame Bourdain for getting her into this mess, for agreeing to the settlement to protect his reputation.
As her career implodes, Argento also appears to be changing her story.
Initially, she claimed it was all a lie, that she did not have sex with Bennett back in 2013. That immediately exploded in her face, however, when TMZ not only released photos of the two of them in bed, but text messages allegedly from Argento where she admitted to sleeping with him.
Argento has not denied she wrote the damning text messages.
Actress and fellow #MeToo activist Rose McGowan says the texts were an exchange between a friend of McGowan’s and Argento.
In the texts, Argento claims Bennett was the aggressor but says he did not tape her.
“It wasn’t rape,” she writes, but I was frozen. He was on top of me. After, he told me I had been his sexual fantasy since [he] was 12.”
There are also reports that Argento had been accepting nude photos from Bennett since he was only 12-years-old.