Me Too founder sounds off about Asia Argento sexual misconduct claim

Jimmy Bennett arrives at the premiere of Relativity Media's'21 And Over

Investigators in Los Angeles are now seeking to talk to Bennett or his representatives about an incident alleged to have occurred at a Southern California hotel in 2013, when Bennett was 17, Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris said Monday.

Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, has been a vocal supporter of the Me Too movement, but now it seems a schism is growing between the group and the Italian actress.

The documents obtained by the NYT appear to reveal that Argento settled the case out of court in late 2018, agreeing to pay Bennett $380,000 (£296,000) in instalments.

While reporting on the death of American travel host and chef Anthony Bourdain, who had been dating Argento, Severson said she began hearing stories about the Italian actor and director.

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Argento is one of the 13 women included in an October 2017 New Yorker report about Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assaults that dated back decades.

Argento, seen at left alongside Cannes Film Festival jury member Ava Duvernay, spoke out against Weinstein during the closing ceremony of this year's event.

'I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false.

Argento - one of the first prominent women to accuse disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault - went on to say she was linked to Bennett by "friendship only" which ended when he made "an exorbitant request of money" amid financial problems. "Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered risky, could have brought up on us", she said.

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"We made a decision 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", the statement goes on.

Argento and the lawyer representing her declined to comment for the article.

The development prompted accusations of hypocrisy from Weinstein's lawyer who said that the revelations undermined her claims against his client.

That payout was only a fraction of the $3.5 million that Bennett had requested in the notice. Weinstein's lawyers have said their relationship was consensual. The Times reported that the final agreement was reached in April of this year. Bourdain was found dead in a hotel room in June aged 61.

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Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News.

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