"In my view, it just means that the #MeToo movement is still strong and swelling," she said. "The fact that people are still coming forward and still holding people accountable for their actions, whether that be a male predator or a female predator."
She went on to add: "That's a testament that the movement is working, and there is progress being made."
"We have been silenced for so long and just had to accept a certain level of harassment as 'the norm,'" she continued. "I think being able to rise up and use our voices and not whisper it anymore, not feel shame. And be able to vocalize and do something about it."
"It's funny -- I always say women have to support each other in this. There's no question," she said. "Women have to support men in this. There's no question. Men have to support women in this. There's no question."
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported Jimmy Bennett -- an actor-musician who is 20 years Argento's junior -- claimed the actress had 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.) Nearly four years later Bennett privately sought financial reparations for the alleged abuse. According to the report, Argento arranged to pay Bennett $380,000 over 18 months.
"I strongly deny and oppose the contents of The New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news," she said in a statement released Tuesday morning through journalist Yashir Ali. "I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
The actress and filmmaker -- who was one of the first and loudest voices at the height of the #MeToo movement when she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her -- accused Bennett of trying to extort money not just from her, but her late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain.
"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," Argento said. "Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect."
According to Argento, it was Bourdian's idea to handle the matter privately, resulting in the $380,000 settlement The New York Times uncovered.
On Wednesday, Bennett released a statement of his own, claiming he had previously refrained from speaking about the encounter because he wanted to "handle it" privately with the person who "wronged" him. He went on to assert that his "trauma" resurfaced when Argento came out as a "victim" herself.
"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," he said in his statement. "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."