Harvey Weinstein’s attorney blasts Asia Argento’s ‘hypocrisy’

Harvey Weinstein’s attorney blasted Asia Argento for “hypocrisy” on Monday, following a report that she had settled a sexual abuse claim brought by actor James Bennett.

Argento was one of Weinstein’s initial accusers, telling the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow that he forcibly performed oral sex on her 20 years ago. Argento has also been at the forefront of the movement to hold Hollywood’s sexual abusers to account.

Weinstein’s criminal attorney, Ben Brafman, argued in a statement that the revelations about Argento undermine her claims against Weinstein.

“This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts who sought to destroy Harvey Weinstein,” Brafman said. “What is perhaps most egregious, is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr. Weinstein was 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 and accordingly, cause all of us to pause and allow due process to prevail, not condemnation by fundamental dishonesty.”

Argento has not sued Weinstein, and her allegations are not part of the criminal case against him. Weinstein faces up to life in prison if convicted on six charges of sexual assault and rape.

Argento was accused of having sex with Bennett at a hotel room in Marina del Rey, Calif., in 2013, when the actor was just 17 years old. According to the Times report, Argento agreed to pay $380,000 to settle the allegations.

21 PHOTOS
Asia Argento through the years
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Asia Argento through the years
Italian actress Asia Argento smiles during arrivals for [German director Wim Wenders'] in-competition film "Don't Come Knocking" at the 58th Cannes Film Festival May 19, 2005.
Italian actress Argento waves during arrivals for director Wenders' film entry "Don't Come Knocking" at Cannes Film Festival. Italian actress Asia Argento waves during arrivals for German director Wim Wenders in-competition film "Don't Come Knocking" at the 58th Cannes Film Festival May 19, 2005. REUTERS/John Schults
Jury member and Italian actress Asia Argento waves as she poses during a photocall at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2009. The 62nd Cannes film festival opens on Wednesday and 20 films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Italian actress Asia Argento arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Inglourious Basterds" at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2009. Twenty films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Italian actress Asia Argento poses on the red carpet before the MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Berlin November 5, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY ENTERTAINMENT)
Asia Argento poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the screening of the animated film "Up" by director Pete Docter on the opening night of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2009. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Jury member and Italian actress Asia Argento is seen on stage as she attends the opening ceremony of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2009. The 62nd Cannes film festival opens on Wednesday and 20 films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT) FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE: ALSO SEE GM1E6821BI201
Jury member and Italian actress Asia Argento poses during a photocall at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2009. The 62nd Cannes film festival opens on Wednesday and 20 films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Actress Asia Argento poses on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Dario Argento Dracula" at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)
Actress Asia Argento poses on the red carpet as she arrives at the closing ceremony of the 66th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)
Actress Asia Argento stands on stage during the closing ceremony of the 66th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Yves Herman (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Director Asia Argento poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the screening of the film "Incompresa" (Misunderstood) in competition for the category "Un Certain Regard" at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Yves Herman (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)
Chef Anthony Bourdain (R) and actor Asia Argento (L) pose at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Italian actress Asia Argento poses as she arrives on May 19, 2018 for the closing ceremony and the screening of the film 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian actress Asia Argento arrives on stage on May 19, 2018 during the closing ceremony of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: The actress Asia Argento that denounced Harvey Weinstein for rape, demonstrates against violence and against Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain attend the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Asia Argento attends the Opening Gala dinner during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Actress Asia Argento arrives at Nice airport during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 17, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
ROME, ITALY - APRIL 23: Margareth Made and Asia Argento attend during the 'Ballando Con Le Stelle' Tv Show at Auditorium RAI on April 23, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 07: Asia Argento attends Convivio 2016 photocall on June 7, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
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