According to documents obtained by the New York Times, leading #MeToo advocate Asia Argento settled an accusation of sexual assault from former child actor and musician Jimmy Bennett for the sum of $380,000 to be paid over the course of a year and a half.
The claim and resulting discussions of payment are included in documents between the lawyers for Argento and Bennett. The claim states Bennett was a little over 17 years old at the time of the alleged assault, which took place in a California hotel room when Argento was 37. The legal age of consent in California is 18.
As part of the agreement, Bennett, who is now 22, gave a selfie of he and Argento in bed and its copyright to Argento, now 42. Three people familiar with the case told the New York Times that the documents were authentic.
The lawyer for Argento who handled the settlement, Carrie Goldberg, in the documents described the money as “helping Mr. Bennett.”
“We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again,” Ms. Goldberg wrote. “You are a powerful and inspiring creator and it is a miserable condition of life that you live among shitty individuals who’ve preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses.”
According to the documents, Bennett’s initial notice of intent to sue was for $3.5 million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.
Argento was one of the 13 women included in the first October 2017 New Yorker report about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault that dated back decades.
She’s recently faced online persecution after her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, took his own life. Online trolls began harassing her, saying that she caused his death.
More to come…
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