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Asia Argento Paid Off Actor Jimmy Bennett After He Accused Her of Sexual Assault: Report

Asia Argento, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, quietly arranged to pay off her own accuser, The New York Times reports.

The newspaper obtained court documents between lawyers for the Italian actress, 42, and Jimmy Bennett — who played her son in the 2004 movie The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things — that claim she quietly arranged to pay the former actor $380,000 in the months that followed her accusations against Weinstein.

Asia Argento Paid Off Jimmy Bennett Sexual Assault
Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images; Tony DiMaio/

Related: Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Scandals

The Times reports that Bennett, who is now a 22-year-old rock musician, accused Argento of sexually assaulting him in a room at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, California, in May 2013, just two months after his 17th birthday. She was 37 at the time. (The age of consent in the state is 18.)

Bennett claimed that the director gave him alcohol when he arrived at the hotel. She then allegedly kissed him and performed oral sex on him before the two had intercourse. Later that day, she posted a selfie of them on Instagram, writing, “Happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmymbennett xox.”

Happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmymbennett xox

A post shared by asiaargento (@asiaargento) on

The Times obtained a different selfie of Argento and Bennett lying in bed together. As part of the reported settlement, the actress was granted copyright of that image.

Related: Stars at Court

The documents obtained by the paper state that Bennett had asked Argento for $3.5 million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery. His attorney, Gordon K. Sattro, wrote in the documents that the costars had a “mother-son relationship [that] had blossomed from their experience on set together.”

Asia Argento Paid Off Jimmy Bennett Sexual Assault
Jimmy Bennett and Asia Argento in ‘The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.’ YouTube

Bennett’s attorney, Sattro, tells Us Weekly that his client “does not wish to comment on the documents or the events discussed in the New York Times article” at this time, but he is “going to take [the] next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response.”

Weinstein, 66, pleaded not guilty in June to sexual assault charges unrelated to Argento’s allegations against him. He has long denied any claims of nonconsensual sex.

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Rose McGowan, another Weinstein accuser and leading figure of the #MeToo movement, took to Twitter hours after the Times report was published. “I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken,” she tweeted early Monday, August 20. “I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere.”

Us Weekly has also reached out to Argento’s attorney for comment.

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