‘It wasn’t rape but I was frozen. He was on top of me’: Asia Argento says ‘horny’ minor was obsessed with her and initiated hotel room sex in texts sent one day before she denied allegations
- Asia Argento allegedly paid Jimmy Bennett $380,000 for his silence over claims of sexual battery in a California hotel room when he was aged 17
- Argento denied the allegations, saying that she had never slept with Bennett
- But texts between Argento and a friend appear to show her admitting to the tryst
- Texts purport to show that Argento didn’t know Bennett was a minor when they had sex, but admitted that the encounter had ‘felt weird’
Asia Argento admitted having sex with actor Jimmy Bennett in text messages with a friend despite publicly claiming that she never slept with him, it has been reported.
The texts were revealed by TMZ along with a photograph of Argento and Bennett topless and in bed together after having sex, the site claimed.
Messages also purport to show Argento, a pioneer of the #MeToo movement, admitting that the encounter with Bennett in a California hotel room when he was aged 17 and she was 37 ‘felt weird.’
Jimmy Bennett (left) claims Asia Argento (right) slept with him in a California hotel room when he was aged 17 and she was 37 which caused mental health issues and crippled his career. Argento has denied the two ever slept together
But in texts reportedly sent by Argento (in grey), she admits sleeping with Bennett and says the encounter ‘felt weird’. She also accused boyfriend Anthony Bordain of pushing her into paying Bennett $380,000 to keep his silence (right)
Argento allegedly paid Bennett $380,000 for his silence over the encounter months after she accused Harvey Weinstein of serial sexual abuse.
The New York Times exposed the payment, which Aregento said was made using cash from boyfriend Anthony Bordain, who killed himself in June.
The texts were penned after the Times ran the story on Sunday.
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In the messages, a person that TMZ identified as Argento says: ‘I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter.
‘The public knows nothing. Only what the NYT wrote. Which is one sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me.’
The friend then asks about a picture of the two of them in bed, which is one of four images which TMZ says was taken by Bennett in a hotel room in Marina del Rey back in 2013.
‘You can see my tits. That’s all. It doesn’t mean s***,’ comes the response. ‘He is standing up.’
The texts refer to Carrie – assumed to be Carrie Goldberg, Argento’s lawyer – and say she wanted to go to the press and expose Bennett (left). The texts also appear to show Argento discussing leaking the story to the press (right)
The pair also discuss pictures of Argento with Bennett in the hotel room, which is one of four he allegedly took. She also discusses the age of consent in California, which is higher than many other states (right)
Later messages also purporting to be from Argento read: ‘When I was 17 I was with a 33 year old man for years. I had just turned 17.
‘If I lose my job I will move to Africa or the Amazon forest. I want to be among the 90 per cent of the world that doesn’t give a f*** about this s***.’
‘Argento’ then sent an image of what appears to be a note from Bennett written on paper with a Ritz Carlton header.
The note says: ‘Asia, I love you with all my heart. So glad we met again and I’m so glad your [sic] in my life. Jimmy.’ The message has a smiley face at the end.
The image was accompanied with messages which read: ‘He wrote me this afterwards and kept sending me unsolicited nudes all these years up until two weeks before the attorneys [sic] letter.’
‘It wasn’t raped but I was frozen. He was on top of me. After, he told me I had been his sexual fantasy since was 12 [sic].’
The texts paint a very different picture from Argento’s only public statement on the scandal, which she made on Tuesday, days after the Times article was published.
In it, she says: ‘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.
Meeting: Argento and Bennett met when they played a mother and her son in The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
‘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.’
She says Bennett targeted her because of her relationship with Bordain, who she describes as a man ‘of great perceived wealth’.
‘Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted,’ she wrote.
‘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.’
The Times reports that Argento agreed to make the payment after Bennett threatened to file a lawsuit alleging that his sexual encounter with Argento was the catalyst for a spiral of emotional problems.
The fallout hindered his career, reduced his income, and threatened his mental health, according to his lawyers.
No comment: Bennett has not spoken since his allegations against Argento were revealed on Sunday night (Bennett above on Monday)
Premiere party: Argento and her alleged rapist Weinstein at the premiere of The Heart is Deceitful at Cannes in 2004 (above)
Bennett had asked for $3.5million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.
The Times reports that he made more than $2.7million in the five years before the 2013 meeting with Argento, but his income has since dropped to an average of $60,000 a year, which he attributes to the trauma.
Just a month before that lawsuit was filed, Argento told the New Yorker that Weinstein raped her in 1997 at a party hosted by Miramax at a hotel in France.
She claims the mogul led her to an empty room in the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc and asked her to give him a massage.
She reluctantly agreed, and halfway through he began to perform oral sex on her after forcibly lifting up her skirt despite her repeated requests for him to stop.
Argento says that she became suspicious when the party she arrived at was just an empty hotel room, but was assured that people would soon be arriving by Weinstein.
Then, he emerged from the bathroom in a robe and holding a bottle of lotion says the actress, who was just 21 at the time.
‘He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, ‘Look man, I am no f***ing fool,” said Argento.
‘But, looking back, I am a f***ing fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened.’
The actress, who is the daughter of famed Italian director Dario Argento, said that once Weinstein began performing oral sex on her there was no way for her to stop him because he was so much bigger than her.
‘It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare,’ said Argento, who eventually decided to pretend she was enjoying the act in hopes that it would end.
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