Asia Argento claims that she did not have a sexual relationship with Jimmy Bennett, but some new photographic evidence has come to light and it contradicts Argento's words. Since the pictures and some text messages have leaked, Argento's accuser, Jimmy Bennett, is speaking about the matter in public for the first time. Bennett admits to being "ashamed," which is why he didn't come forward sooner. The young actor says that it was only after he saw Argento on TV talking about being one of Harvey Weinstein's victims that it all came flooding back.
Jimmy Bennett was 17-years old when he was allegedly sexually assaulted by Asia Argento. The incident took place 5 years ago at a hotel room in California. In a newly released statement, Bennett claims that he wanted to take care of the matter with Argento privately, while the actress claims that it was all a giant case of extortion. Bennett explains.
"I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative."
Jimmy Bennett and Asia Argento starred in the 2004 movie The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which the actress wrote and directed. Bennett played her 7-year old son in the film, which is where their relationship started. The two kept in touch over the years and often referred to each other as mother and son. Bennett did not want his story to become public news, but he also seems ready to move on at this point in his life. He had this to say.
"I was underage when the event took place and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn't think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy... I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence."
Asia Argento released a statement of her own earlier this week in which she denies ever having sex with Jimmy Bennett. However, new pictures along with some text messages that are allegedly from Argento go against what she said in her statement. First, there's a picture of the two in bed, where they are both topless. Second, the text messages confirm that the two had sex, but she claims that he jumped on her. Also in the alleged texts, she says that she didn't know that he was underage at the time and then talks about being in a relationship with a 33-year old man when she was 17.
When the initial New York Times article was published, it talked about the aforementioned pictures and they have since confirmed that the picture of Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett in bed is the image that they had in their possession. If the text messages are really from Argento, she could be in for some legal action in the future. The LAPD has been notified of the incident and have already reached out to Bennett's representatives. Bennett's statement was originally given to The Hollywood Reporter.