Rose McGowan Reacts to Asia Argento Reportedly Paying Off Sexual Assault Accuser

"My heart is broken," she tweeted

By Elyse Dupre Aug 20, 2018 5:27 PMTags
Rose McGowan Griffin Lipson/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Rose McGowan is heartbroken over the allegations against Asia Argento.

On Sunday, The New York Times published a report claiming Argento paid off a former child star who had accused her of sexual assault. Like McGowan, Argento had accused Harvey Weinstein of rape and been an early leader of the #MeToo movement. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.

After news of the reports spread, McGowan took to Twitter to weigh in on the allegations. 

"I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein," she tweeted on Monday. "My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere." 

She then added, "None of us know the truth of the situation and I'm sure more will be revealed. Be gentle." One day later and McGowan would tweet, "Oh for f--k's sake I'm not defending." 

According to The New York Times, the Italian actress agreed to pay Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after receiving a notice of intent to sue alleging she sexually assaulted him when he was 17 years old. The newspaper claimed the allegations and payment arrangements were laid out in a set of documents received by the newspaper through an encrypted email sent by an unidentified party.

E! News has not been able to independently review the documents. Argento has also not responded to The New York Times' or E! News' requests for comment. In addition, Bennett did not agree to The New York Times' request for an interview.

Asia Argento Paid Off Her Own Sexual Assault Accuser: Report

According to The New York Times' report, the alleged incident took place in 2013. The newspaper, citing the documents, claimed Bennett arrived at Argento's hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Ray, Calif. with a family member on May 9 of that year. Per the report of Bennett's allegations, Argento asked the family member to leave and gave him an alcoholic beverage to drink while they reviewed notes. The New York Times, again citing the documents, wrote she then "kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex." She then allegedly "climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse." According to The New York Times' reporting of the Bennett's claims, she then allegedly asked Bennett to take photos of the two of them. 

The newspaper noted Bennett was allegedly under California's age of consent at the time. 

After the alleged incident, Bennett reportedly had lunch with Argento and then headed home feeling "extremely confused, mortified and disgusted." According to The New York Times, his lawyer sent Argento's lawyer a notice of intent to sue in November 2017 asking for $3.5 million in damages for "intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery." Per The New York Times, Bennett claimed he made more than $2.7 million in the five years before the alleged incident and his income has since dropped to below $60,000 a year, which he reportedly attributed to trauma from the alleged encounter.

Argento allegedly agreed to pay him the $380,000 over the course of a year and a half and started with an initial payment of $200,000, which was reportedly made in April. 

According to The New York Times, the parties' agreement does not prevent either one from discussing the alleged incident; however, Bennett cannot sue or disparage Argento as long as she complies with the agreement. Furthermore, he cannot post the alleged photos of them together, of which Argento reportedly owns the copyright.