Argento thinks Harvey Weinstein is pulling the strings.
Asia Argento has decided to play the blame game when it comes to her ongoing sexual assault scandal. As reported previously, The New York Times discovered that Argento was paying Jimmy Bennett to keep quiet about a sexual interaction between the two. Bennett accused Argento of giving him liquor, performing oral sex, and initiating intercourse with him when he was 17 years old. Argento has spent the last year as one of the heads of the #MeToo movement after coming forward about Harvey Weinstein. She initially denied all the allegations against her.
Soon after, texts messages were leaked that showed Argento admitting that she and Bennett had sex. The Italian actress was venting to model Rain Dove in the texts, and wrote, "The public knows nothing, only what NYT wrote. Which is one sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me." A post-sex picture of the two came along with the leaked texts, which further incriminated Argento.
Then, TMZ got their hands on text messages between Argento and her former boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. The conversation proves that the late celebrity chef funded the hush money, which was reported to be $380,000. Argento claims that she's "broke," and asks Bourdain to help her pay off Bennett. Bourdain wrote that the payment was "no admission of anything, no attempt to buy a cover up, simply an offer to help an obviously tortured soul whose desperate and trying to jack you for money." He continued on to write, "Or you just tell him to fuck himself. Either way, I am with you." Argento also continued to admit her guilt in these texts, writing, "It wasn't raped (sic) but I was frozen. He was on top of me. After he told me I had been his sexual fantasy since he was 12."
Now, Argento is refusing to pay the remainder of the hush money balance to Bennet. The disgraced actress released a lengthy statement where she speaks for Bourdain, stating, “Now that Mr. Bourdain has passed away and is not able to comment on his desire to avoid potential scandal which resulted in his facilitating payment to Bennett, Asia will not permit any portion of the balance of the $380,000 payment to be paid to Bennett who has already received $250,000 from Anthony Bourdain." Argento never had Bennett sign a non-disclosure agreement, because she had signed one with Weinstein that convinced her not to go down that path.
She also tries to blame Harvey Weinstein for participating in her scandal becoming public. Somehow, she ties it into her original leadership position with the #MeToo movement, hinting that her role in Weinstein's downfall caused him to lash out. "Phase Two of the #metoo movement dictates that the voice of a victim, even one with a history that may be in question, should be heard and she is hopeful that in the Court of Public Opinion," reads the statement."(Asia) was attacked by Bennett and might even be suffering the fallback of a smear campaign by those already accused who may have a vested interest in their accusers being denied credibility.”