Fellow Harvey Weinstein accuser Mira Sorvino is "heartsick" over Asia Argento allegedly having sex with a minor in 2013 and considers it a "heinous crime" if true, according to a statement the actress released on Tuesday night.
"I have been heartsick over the recent allegations against Asia Argento. Time will clarify things and perhaps she will be exonerated, but if true, there is no lens that makes it better," she said. "Child sexual assault is a heinous crime and is against all that I and the #MeToo movement stands for. I remain dedicated to fight for all victims and change the culture that encourages abuse of power in sexual relationships."
But just hours later, TMZ broke a significant development in the story: text messages in which Argento told a friend she did have sex with her accuser, Jimmy Bennett. TMZ even shared a photograph of Argento cuddled up next to Bennett, and they're both shirtless.
TooFab has reached out to Sorvino for additional comment.
Having just touched down from several weeks abroad, I am reeling from the recent news. Although hoping against hope that it is not true, here are my current thoughts: pic.twitter.com/8oOF3LmHLQ
"He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around," she said, and explained she left the room.
A few weeks later, Weinstein called her in the middle of the night and told her he was coming to her apartment to discuss marketing ideas for the movie they were working on together. When he showed up at her door, she told the producer her boyfriend would be joining them, which was apparently enough to ward Weinstein off. She believes her rejection led to being "iced" out of future work.
"There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it," she said.
Argento came forward at the height of the #MeToo movement to accuse Weinstein of raping her when she was 21, but now she's facing sexual assault allegations from a former child actor.
According to a New York Times report, Bennett 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 made the claims privately against Argento through legal representatives just weeks after she publicly came forward in the Weinstein scandal. Argento agreed to fork over $380,000 in a series of payments, and in a statement released Tuesday, Argento said her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain provided the funds and encouraged her to make the deal.
However, she denied ever having "any sexual relationship with Bennett." But in text messages obtained by TMZ, Argento admitted, "I had sex with him it felt weird (sic). I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter.” Argento also said, "The horny kid jumped me."
Bennett was 7 when he co-starred 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 since the story broke.
In her public denial, Argento said, "I was linked to him during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequent to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett -- who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously undertaken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages -- unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me."
"Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect," she continued. "Anthony was afraid of the possibly negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett's demand for help and give it to him. Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life."