LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Filmmaker and #MeToo activist Asia Argento admitted to a friend via text message that she had sex with a then 17-year-old actor in a Marina del Rey hotel, this despite issuing an outright denial Tuesday regarding the allegations, according to a new report.
Argento sent text messages to a friend admitting that she had sex with Jimmie Bennett, TMZ reported Wednesday.READ MORE: West Hills Stolen Motorcycle Suspect Identified As Ruben Contreras Jr.
In a screenshot of one of the text messages obtained by the entertainment news website, Argento allegedly writes, “I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter.”
The New York Times reported Sunday that, following the beginnings of the #MeToo movement, Argento paid a $380,000 settlement to Bennett not to disclose allegations that the two had sex in 2013, when she was 37 and he was 17.
Bennett had played Argento’s son in the 2004 film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”
The Times reported it was sent encrypted information about the dealings between lawyers for Argento and Bennett, including a selfie of the two lying in bed from 2013. As part of the settlement, Bennett, now 22, agreed to give Argento the photograph and its copyright, the paper reported.
In the legal documents, Bennett claims that on May 9, 2013, Argento served him an alcoholic drink at a room in the Marina Del Rey Ritz-Carlton and subsequently performed oral sex on him. The two then had intercourse before she asked him to take photos of them. According to the Times, the meeting was a reunion for the actors.
The 42-year-old Argento released a statement Tuesday strongly denying that she had sex with Bennett.READ MORE: LA County Sees Another 72 Deaths Related To COVID-19
“I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett,” Argento said Tuesday.
Argento also went in the statement to claim that it was the idea of her late boyfriend, travel host Anthony Bourdain, to pay Bennett the hush money. Bourdain committed suicide in June.
“I was linked to him (Bennett) during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequently, to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett — who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously undertaken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages — unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me,” Argento wrote. “Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect.”
“Antony (sic) insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity 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 in our life.”
Argento was one of the first women to publicly accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape last year. The settlement is reported to have happened just months after the Weinstein accusations were made public.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that though it has no report of the alleged incident, it is reaching out to Bennett and his attorneys for an interview.MORE NEWS: High-Powered Winds Whip Through Southland, Bringing Damage To Houses, Trees
Bennett has declined to comment on the reports.