“Dear @RoseMcGowan,” Argento tweeted. “It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th. If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.”
Argento and McGowan had previously been on friendly terms; they were drawn together after both women came forward detailing sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. However, Argento’s status as a spokesperson for the #MeToo movement has been called into question after reports emerged that the actress reached a $380,000 settlement with Bennett late last year. Argento claims that her late boyfriend, “Parts Unknown” host Anthony Bourdain, put up the money for the settlement and denies that she ever had sexual relationship with Bennett.
After the story broke, McGowan said that her partner, Rain Dove, told her that Argento said she had slept with Bennet when he was underage and that she had been receiving unsolicited nude photos of Bennet since he was 12 years old.
“Asia you were my friend,” McGowan said in her statement. “I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.”
A spokesperson for McGowan did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Argento’s legal threat.
US actress Rose McGowan gives opening remarks to the audience at the Women's March / Women's Convention in Detroit, Michigan, on October 27, 2017.
A stream of actress including Rose McGowan, models and ex-employees have come out, many anonymously, to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and abuse dating as far back as the 1990s. / AFP PHOTO / RENA LAVERTY (Photo credit should read RENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Actress Rose McGowan attends the Mercy For Animals' Annual Hidden Heroes Gala at Vibiana on September 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 09: Actor Rose McGowan attends the screening of 'Lady in the Dark' during the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 26657_006 (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for TCM)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Rose McGowan attends KYGO 'Stole The Show' documentary film premiere at The Metrograph on July 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Recording artist Boots (L) and actress Rose McGowan attend the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Actress Rose McGowan attends the 'Filmstruck' launch event at 404 NYC on October 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Turner)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Rose McGowan attends Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA at The Theatre At The Ace Hotel on September 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Actress Rose McGowan attends 'SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock' Screening during 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actress Rose McGowan attends Housing Works Design On A Dime Opening Night Reception at Metropolitan Pavilion on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Actors Rachael Leigh Cook (L) and Rose McGowan attend CHANEL Tribeca Film Festival Women's Filmmaker Luncheon on April 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Actress Rose McGowan attends the New York Academy Of Art's Tribeca Ball 2016 on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 31: Actress Rose McGowan attends the premiere of 'Confirmation' at Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios lot on March 31, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Rose McGowan attends the Miu Miu Tales 11 screening event during New York Fashion Week at EN Japanese Brasserie on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 04: Actress Rose McGowan attends The Powerpuff Girls x Moschino Launch Event at Moschino Store on February 4, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. Moschino PPG Event. 25923_001. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Turner)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actress Rose McGowan attends The Second Annual Horizon Awards on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for The Second Annual Horizon Awards)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actress Rose McGowan attends the Lena Dunham and Planned Parenthood Host Sex, Politics & Film Cocktail Reception at The Spur on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actress Rose McGowan attends Tangerine Entertainment Celebrates Women Filmmakers hosted by Writer/Director Rose McGowan at Photage Film Lounge on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 05: Actress Rose McGowan attends the Soho Beach House tent closing party with Rhonda International, Lisa Solberg's Mister Lee's Shangri La & Bombay Sapphire at Soho Beach House on December 5, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images For Soho House & Co)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 02: Rose McGowan attends Celebration for Francesco Vezzoli's Ossessione Vezzoli at Nautilus Hotel on December 2, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Rose McGowan attends the 53rd New York Film Festival 'NYFF Live' at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on October 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
Rose McGowan attends the '2015 New York City Ballet Fall Gala' at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)