Asia Argento, an Italian actress and director at the forefront of the #MeToo movement, reportedly paid off a sexual assault accuser.
The New York Times reports Argento paid $380,000 to 22-year-old actor Jimmy Bennett, after he claimed that he was sexually assaulted by her in a California hotel room.
The claim dates back to when Bennett was only two months past his 17th birthday, while Argento was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.
Both appeared in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, where they played mother and son.
Argento became one of the leading figures in the #MeToo movement after she spoke out against Harvey Weinstein, just one of more than 80 women who accused the producer of sexual abuse, including rape, assault, and harassment.
Shortly after those revelations broke in October last year, in November, Bennett’s lawyers sent a notice of intent to sue to Richard Hofstetter, lawyer for the late Anthony Bourdain, who was also representing Argento at the time. The claim alleges the incident had hindered the actor’s mental health, plus his work and income.
The initial demand sought $3.5 million in damages for what the Times describes as “the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.” Bennett, through his lawyer, did not wish to respond immediately to the report when contacted by Mashable.
Argento’s lawyer and agent have been contacted for comment.