Jimmy Bennett, who accused Asia Argento of sexual-harassment, was 'ashamed'
Jimmy Bennett, who earlier this week accused actress Asia Argento of sexually harassing him when he was just 17, spoke about his choice to stay silent on the abuse. The incident happened in 2013 but Bennett spoke about it now, as he was 'ashamed and afraid'. He said his trauma resurfaced after the Italian actress spoke about being a victim of Harvey Weinstein's abuse.
In 2013, Argento abused Bennett, forcefully performed oral-sex on him
According to an NYT report, Jimmy was two months past 17 when Argento, then 37, abused him. The legal age of consent in California is 18. He has accused her of performing oral sex on him, before proceeding to have intercourse. She reportedly silenced her victim by paying him $380,000. He has now claimed emotional distress and demanded $3.5 million in damages.
Years after abuse, Bennett tells why he never spoke up
On Wednesday, Bennett said Argento's coming out as victim resurfaced his trauma. For the uninitiated, Argento was one of the strongest voices to accuse disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, which snowballed into the #MeToo movement. Explaining why he didn't make a public statement before, Bennett said, "I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative."
Societal stigma major reason behind Bennett's years of silence
Bennett also blamed societal stigma for his silence. He said he assumed no one would understand the event from a teenage boy's perspective. "I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time," he said and added he chose to move forward in his life, just not in silence.
Meanwhile, Argento denied claims of abuse but accepts pay-off
After the Times story, Argento released a statement saying she never had any sexual encounter with Bennett and was shocked at the allegations. Pleading innocence, the actress said the pay off was her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain's idea so that Bennett would stop harassing her. Ironically, Argento and Bennett played mother and son in 'The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things'.
Photo hints Bennett and Argento were physically involved
While Argento may have denied claims, the texts she has exchanged with one of her friends paint a different picture. She disputed any sexual relationship claims, but a picture shows Argento and Bennett lying on the bed, semi-clothed. "I had sex with him, it felt weird. I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter," Argento reportedly told her friend on texts.Share this timeline