Will Charges Against Asia Argento, Gretchen Carlson Stop Survivors From Coming Forward?

Asia Argento and Gretchen Carlson have been among the most prominent voices in the #MeToo movement, which has encouraged women to share stories of sexual harassment and abuse and to name their abusers. Both women have been hailed for their courage in coming forward, and now both women are grappling with the downside of having a heightened public profile.

Argento, the Italian actress-director, was one of a handful of women to go on record last October with Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker about allegations of sexual assault at the hands of the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein. Carlson, the TV news veteran, helped ignite the cultural wave of female empowerment with her 2016 sexual harassment lawsuit that swiftly brought down Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Argento became enmeshed in scandal on Aug. 19 when The New York Times reported that she reached a $380,000 settlement earlier this year with actor-musician Jimmy Bennett. Bennett has accused Argento of sexually assaulting him in 2013 when he was 17 and Argento was 37. Argento has denied having sex with Bennett and said the settlement was driven by her late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, in the hopes of making the entire issue go away. Fallout from the accusation has seen her fired as a judge on “X Factor Italy.”

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