Italian actress Asia Argento was a hypocrite to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape as she was settling allegations she sexually assaulted a teenage boy, Weinstein’s lawyer said Monday.
“This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy,” lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in the statement first reported by CNN.
Argento, 42, settled for $380,000 a lawsuit brought by actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, now 22, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The settlement came shortly after she accused Weinstein last October of raping her, the Times said.
The timing was “egregious,” Brafman said.
“[A]t the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alelged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein,” Brafman wrote.
The statement said Argento and Weinstein, were invovled in a “sexual relationship … between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years.”
“The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were actually vetted,” the statement said.
Bennett said in his lawsuit he had sex with Argento in California in May 2013, when he was 17. The age of consent in California is 18.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Monday it is reaching out to Bennett and his lawyer. Lawyers representing Argento did not return phone calls to the Associated Press.
Argento alleged that Weinstein raped her in 1997, when she was 21. Weinstein faces multiple charges of sexual assault and rape that have ruined his movie-making career. None of the charges involve Argento’s accusation.
With News Wire Services