Jimmy Bennett has finally spoken out after accusing Asia Argento of sexual assault — read his full statement here.
Actor Jimmy Bennett, 22, who alleged he was sexually assaulted by Asia Argento, 42, in a Marina Del Rey hotel room in 2013, when he was 17, has finally released a statement for the first time since The New York Times reported the claims on Sunday, Aug. 19. “I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public,” he said in his statement, published by The New York Times on Aug. 22. “At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy.”
This statement was issued the same day TMZ released the photo of Jimmy and Asia, both shirtless, in the Marina Del Rey hotel room in 2013. A TMZ source added that it was snapped “after intercourse.” In a personal statement that Asia passed on to writer Yashar Ali, which he tweeted, Asia said she “never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.” TMZ proceeded to publish text messages between Asia and an unidentified friend, in which she admits to having sex with Jimmy, writing, “I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter.” She added in a succeeding text, “The public knows nothing, only what NYT wrote. Which is one sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me.”
The New York Times reported that Jimmy’s lawyer originally asked for “$3.5 million in damages” in Nov. 2017, and according to a document the newspaper received, Asia finally agreed to pay Jimmy $380,000 in March. Much of this money came from the late Anthony Bourdain, Asia’s former boyfriend, writing in her personal statement, “Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any intrusions on our life.”
A month before Jimmy notified Asia with his intent to sue, she was mentioned in a New Yorker story on Oct. 10, 2017, saying Harvey Weinstein, 66 — the instigator of the #MeToo movement — had “forcibly performed oral sex on her.” Before all this ensued, Asia played Jimmy’s mom in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. Jimmy was seven at the time. On the day of the alleged incident in 2013, Asia shared a picture of her and Jimmy on Instagram, captioning it, “my son my love until I will live.”
HollywoodLife has reached out to Jimmy Bennett’s and Asia Argento’s reps for a comment.