Asia Argento ‘accused of sexual assault’

Asia Argento in Cannes (May 2018)Image copyright

Image caption

Asia Argento was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault

One of the leading figures in the #MeToo movement has reportedly been accused of sexual assault herself.

Italian actress Asia Argento was one of the first to speak out against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The New York Times reports that legal documents, which the BBC has not seen, show she paid a former co-star $380,000 after he alleged she had assaulted him in a California hotel room in 2013.

A lawyer for Ms Argento declined to comment on the allegations.

Her accuser, Jimmy Bennett was just 17 at the time. The age of consent in California is 18.

Ms Argento would have been 37 at the time of the encounter.

  • What has #MeToo actually changed?
  • Has #MeToo divided women?

Mr Bennett says in the documents that the encounter traumatised him and threatened his mental health and career, the New York Times reported.

He had played Ms Argento’s young son in a 2004 film.

In the documents seen by the paper, the actress’s lawyer said that the money was given to Mr Bennett to help him, and that it was Ms Argento who had been preyed upon.

In a statement published by Vanity Fair, a lawyer for Mr Bennett said his client would not comment but would take the “next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response”.

A lawyer for Mr Weinstein said the development revealed “a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento”.

Another high-profile accuser of Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan, has also reacted to the reports.

Skip Twitter post by @rosemcgowan

End of Twitter post by @rosemcgowan

Skip Twitter post 2 by @rosemcgowan

End of Twitter post 2 by @rosemcgowan