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Weinstein rape accuser Asia Argento denies faces down her own sexual assault allegations, claims hush money payment to accuser was Anthony Bourdain’s idea

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Asia Argento claims sexual assault tale was a hoax, a shake down by a down and out acquaintance
Asia Argento Tuesday denied having a sexual relationship with ‘troubled’ teen and says costar extorted her because she was dating ‘wealthy’ Anthony Bourdain
Claims payoff was Anthony Bourdain’s idea – who then paid costar Jimmy Bennett for silence with his own money
Asia Argento claims that she never had sex with the Heart is Deceitful Above All Things child actor
Bennett extorted Argento for money because he knew her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain was a ‘man of great perceived wealth’ claims the actress
Italian actress says in the wake of Bennett’s extortion attempts,  ‘Anthony personally undertook to help him economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life,’ writes Argento
The statement does not address the photo of Argento naked in bed with Bennett that multiple people had seen and verified, NY Times reports
On the day of the assault, Argento posted a note with a heart and Bennett’s name on Twitter and wrote: ‘I cry, I sweat, I pace, I tremble, I am alive’  
Bourdain reportedly paid the hush money for Argento, who said she was too broke to afford the settlement and called Bennett a ‘donkey’ in texts
Asia Argento 10.jpgItalian actress Asia Argento [photo], Tuesday countered reports that she slept with the former child actor she paid hush money last year. Argento said never had “any sexual relationship” with Jim Bennett who has accused her of molesting him when he was a minor, in 2013

Asia Argento is speaking out for the first time since it was reported that she had a sexual relationship with a teenager and then paid the $380,000 cover up when his lawyer sent her a notice of intent to file a lawsuit.
‘I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article,’ states Argento.
‘I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.’
She goes on to state that Bennett went after her because of her relationship with Anthony Bourdain, a ‘man of great perceived wealth’ who ‘had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect.’
Argento also claims that it was Bourdain, who took his own life back in June, that urged her to settle in exchange for Bennett’s silence.

In a statement first reported by journalist Yashar Ali, Argento said that her accuser, former child actor Jimmy Bennett, was “considered dangerous” by Bourdain and that a $380,000 payout to him was a way “to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help” after the actor “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me.”

Asia Argento and a 7-year-old Jim Bennett 3.pngAsia Argento [right] and her alleged victim first met when she played mother to a 7-year-old Jim Bennett in ‘The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things’ [photo]

Argento said she was “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” referring to the report detailing the settlement and Bennett’s allegation that the Italian actress-director sexually assaulted him in 2013, when he was a teenager.
Argento has been one of the harshest accusers of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and one of the most outspoken critics of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.
Argento, who claimed Weinstein raped her but that they later had consensual sex, has been one of the most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, delivering a fiery speech at the Cannes Film Festival in May. For that reason, the exposé claiming she sexually assaulted Bennett as a minor is especially shocking. So is the fact that she made a private settlement with him after Weinstein’s history of doing that with accusers had been widely criticized.
On Monday, Weinstein slammed Argento over the Bennett allegations and pay-off in a statement released by his attorney, Benjamin Brafman.
The allegation against Argento stems from an alleged encounter between her and Bennett in a California hotel room in 2013. As a child actor, Bennett played the son of Argento’s character in a movie she directed, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”

Asia Argento posted a note with Bennett.jpg
On the day of the alleged assault, Argento posted this note with a heart and Jim Bennett’s name on Twitter and wrote: ‘I cry, I sweat, I pace, I tremble, I am alive’ 
Asia Argento and Jim Bennett 3.pngAsia Argento [right] allegedly paid actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he sought damages of $3.6m for their alleged 2013 tryst. The pair is seen [on the day of the alleged assault], in May 2013 – She was 37 at the time, and Bennett was 17

Argento said she had been “linked to [Bennett] during several years by friendship only,” which ended when he suddenly demanded money from her as her public profile grew during the investigation into Weinstein.
She contends that Bennett was motivated by his own “severe economic problems” and his belief that Bourdain was a wealthy target with a reputation to protect.
“Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted,” Argento said in her statement. “Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help and give it to him.
Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life.”

Jim Bennett 3
Bennett [seen on Monday], has not commented on the swirling allegations mentioning Argento and himself as revealed on Sunday night 

Argento did not dispute the specific details of the $380,000 payout detailed in the New York Times report. But she said the settlement and its exposure are “the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution.”
Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life,’ writes Argento in her statement.
She says that at the request of both Bourdain and Bennett, the matter was settled privately. That payout was only a fraction of the $3.5 million that Bennett had requested in the notice.

Asia Argento says she did not assault Jim Bennett, late ex-boyfriend Anthony Bourdain ‘urged sex assault settlement’

‘I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news.
‘I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.
‘I was linked to him during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequent to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett – who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously taken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages – unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me. Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was 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 was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negativity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help and give it to him. Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions into our life.
‘This is, therefore, the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution. I have therefore no other choice but to oppose such false allegation and will assume in the short term and all necessary initiatives for my protection before all competent venues.’

‘I have therefore no other choice but to oppose such false allegations and will assume in the short term all necessary initiatives for my protection before all competent venues,’ Argento wrote.

The statement does not address the photo of Argento naked in bed with Bennett that multiple people had seen and verified according to the Times.
TMZ reports that Argento told Bourdain she was ‘too broke’ to pay the settlement, and the two referred to Bennett as a ‘donkey’ in text messages.
These claims were first hinted at by Argento’s friends, who took to social media defending the actress.

Rosanna Arquette 2Rosanna Arquette rose to the defense of fellow Weinstein accuser Argento on Twitter

Within an hour of the report emerging, one of Weinstein’s accusers Rosanna Arquette, stepped into the controversy, tweeting that their common nemesis was involved in leaking the story to the Times before going on to claim it was nothing but a set-up and Argento a victim of extortion.
‘The monster is at it again,’ Arquette write on Sunday night, using her nickname for the man she accused of sexually harassing her in a Beverly Hills hotel room back in the mid-90s.

Rosanna Arquette tweet 1.jpg”I know many rape and trauma survivors who act out sexually The wounds they carry run deep. I pray for them. the timing of this story is suspect,’ she said

The actress then started defending Argento on Monday morning in a series of posts.
‘I know many rape and trauma survivors who act out sexually The wounds they carry run deep. I pray for them. the timing of this story is suspect. Asia was still raped by Harvey Weinstein,’ wrote Arquette at one point.

Rose McGowan tweet 2.pngFellow #MeToo crusader Rose McGowan next hinted that there might be more to the story, adding: ‘None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle’ 

She then added following a tweet from Rose McGowan that read: ‘None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.’
Arquette replied: ‘That’s for sure.’
She also responded to a woman who stated: ‘I thought we believed accusers? I get this is your friend, but you are talking out of both sides of your mouth right now.’
This question prompted Arquette to state: ‘I didn’t say I didn’t I said wait to hear the whole story.’
Arquette also made a number of remarks that suggested the victim, Jimmy Bennett, was not telling the truth.
She called the allegations a ‘set up’ multiple times, writing at one point: ‘Stop until you hear all the facts this is a set up. Extortion is a problem.’

Rosanna Arquette tweet 2
Some commentators challenged Arquette for her ‘hypocrisy and double standards’, in choosing to disbelieve an alleged sex assault victim. She then posted two rebuttals  about how she stands with victims of sexual assault.

Bennett’s lawyer wrote in the notice that his client was sexually assaulted by Argento back in 2013 after being dropped off by a family member at a Marina del Rey hotel for a visit.
The teenager was unable to drive himself due to an eye condition which prohibits him from obtaining a license in the state of California.
The Times, citing a copy of the notice they were sent by an anonymous source, reported that Argento then sent the family member away and was alone with Bennett in her hotel room.
Argento then gave the minor ‘alcohol to drink and showed him a series of notes she had written to him on hotel stationery.’
The meet concluded with Argento ‘kissing him, pushing him back on the bed, and removing his pants before performing oral sex’.
‘She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse,’ according to the notice.
‘She then asked him to take a number of photos,’ said the report.|
Argento took a number of photos of herself and Bennett after the alleged assault, including one of the two lying naked in bed.
She also posted five photos from the pair’s meet-up to her Instagram that day, starting with one of herself in which she wrote: ‘Waiting for my long lost son my love @jimmymbennett in trepidation #marinadelrey smoking cigarettes like there was no next week.’
In her second post she shared a selfie of herself with Bennett and wrote: ‘Happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmymbennett xox.’

Asia Argento 1The allegations could impact upcoming projects which the actress in involved with

Bennett never worked with Argento again, and then in November last year filed his notice after the #MeeToo activist’s ‘ very public condemnation of her alleged rapist, Weinstein.
‘His feelings about that day were brought to the forefront recently when Ms. Argento took the spotlight as one of the many victims of Harvey Weinstein,’ stated Bennett’s lawyer in the notice.
Disclosure of the settlement has put into jeopardy Argento’s role as a judge on singing competition show “X Factor Italy.” Sky Italia, the show’s broadcaster, and FremantleMedia, its producer, said Monday that, if the allegations against Argento were true, they “would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento.” A number of Italians have also taken to social media to demand Argento’s removal from the show, which is scheduled to start airing Sept. 6.

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