- Actress Asia Argento paid over $300,000 to an underage actor who accused her of sexual assault.
- The payment is similar to settlements Harvey Weinstein made to women during his decades-long scandal.
- Activists released statements to further the #MeToo movement.
Actress Asia Argento — one of the first women to accuse disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in the 2017 New Yorker article that spelled his downfall and laid the foundation for the #MeToo movement — paid $380,000 to former co-star Jimmy Bennett after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in 2013 when he was 17, reported CNN and The New York Times.
Argento has since denied the accusation. What’s more, she claims that celebrity chef and “Parts Unknown” star Anthony Bourdain, whom she was dating at the time of his death, financed the payoff. Of the claim, Argento said she was “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” reported Entertainment Weekly.
Argento met Bennett when filming 2004’s “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” which grossed only $211,355, according to Box Office Mojo. Bennett gave Argento a photograph of the two of them lying in bed and its copyright as part of the $380,000 settlement after initially asking Argento for $3.5 million in damages, reported CNN. Argento paid the first installment of the settlement in April 2018, according to the Times. If Bennett had received the full amount he initially requested, it would have been equal to about one-fifth of Argento’s entire net worth.
Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman issued a statement to the media calling Argento a hypocrite. At the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018, she used her time on stage to describe the time when Weinstein assaulted her, calling it “disgusting behavior that has no place in this industry.”
Argento Paid Bennett More Than Weinstein Paid Rose McGowan
Weinstein was reportedly worth about $300 million before the New Yorker report. He had developed a reputation for making victims of his alleged sexual assaults sign non-disclosure agreements and for paying settlements to them through his now-defunct production studio The Weinstein Company, which was sold to private equity firm Lantern Capital for $289 million in July 2018, according to Vanity Fair. Weinstein’s settlements included:
- $600,000 to two female employees in England in the 1990s, according to EW.com
- $100,000 to actress and #MeToo movement activist Rose McGowan in 1997, according to Business Insider and The New York Times
McGowan, #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke and others tweeted reactions to the news about Argento in support of continuing the #MeToo movement:
I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) August 20, 2018
People will use these recent news stories to try and discredit this movement – don’t let that happen. This is what Movement is about. It’s not a spectator sport. It is people generated. We get to say “this is/isn’t what this movement is about!”
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) August 20, 2018
Asia Argento Net Worth: $16 Million
Asia Argento’s net worth is estimated to be $16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Some entertainment ranking sites list her as one of the richest actresses and celebrities in Italy.
Who Is Asia Argento?
Asia Argento started working in the entertainment industry in her teens and has appeared in U.S. and European films. Her biggest box office hit was “XXX.” The 2002 film — which starred Vin Diesel of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise — had a $44 million opening but has grossed more than $142 million since 2002 according to Box Office Mojo.
More about Asia Argento:
Birthday: Sept. 20, 1975
Sources of income and professions:
- Film director
- Disc jockey
Other notable movies:
- “Marie Antoinette” (2006)
- “Land of the Dead” (2005)
Argento has two children. She met Bourdain while he was filming an episode of “Parts Unknown.”
She has appeared in short films, TV series and has one film in pre-production according to IMDB, but none of her movies have reached the box office level of 2002’s “XXX.”
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