Harvey Weinstein's lawyer is taking full advantage of the sexual assault allegations that have surfaced against Asia Argento, who may lose her job as an "X Factor" host in Italy if producers can "confirm" former child actor Jimmy Bennett's claims.
In a statement released Monday, the disgraced movie mogul's attorney Benjamin Brafman called out the actress for "hypocrisy," as she has been one of his client's most outspoken accusers.
"This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts who sought to destroy Harvey Weinstein," he said. "What is perhaps most egregious, is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr. Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years."
He concluded, "The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were actually vetted and accordingly, cause all of us to pause and allow due process to prevail, not condemnation by fundamental dishonesty."
The statement comes on the heels of Sky Italia and FremantleMedia Italia saying producers of "X Factor" Italy would cut ties with the current host if Bennett's allegations can be proven in some manner.
"We want to be very clear: if the allegations reported by the New York Times today were to be confirmed, the issue would be absolutely inconsistent with Sky's ethical principles and values and therefore -- in full agreement with FremantleMedia -- we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento," the companies said in a statement.
They started off their response by stressing they "did not pick Asia Argento as a judge of 'X Factor' Italy for her commitment to the #Metoo campaign, nor for her personal stances, but rather -- as it has always been the case when it came to choose the judges of 'X Factor' Italy -- for her musical skills and ability to manage a television role in a show like this."
According to a New York Times report, the actress and filmmaker agreed to pay $380,000 to former child actor Jimmy Bennett, who threatened to sue her over allegations that she sexually assaulted him in a Southern California hotel room in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37. (The age of consent in California is 18.)
The documents obtained by the Times claimed that in result of the "sexual battery" the young star faced emotional trauma which affected his mental health. Bennett, through legal representatives, made the claims privately against Argento just weeks after she publicly came forward in the Weinstein scandal, claiming the media mogul raped her when she was 21.
Bennett co-starred, when he was 7, with Argento in 2004's "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" -- a film she acted in, co-wrote, and directed. They played a mother and son in the movie. Neither Bennett or Argento have responded to TooFab's request for comment.