Megyn Kelly tore into Asia Argento Thursday morning for denying her accuser Jimmy Bennett's sexual assault allegations.
"Wow, OK. It's pretty -- look, we haven't verified those text messages independent right? But if those are real, they've got her dead to rights," she said in a "Today" show panel discussion on the story. "If that's true, then she's been lying to us."
The NBC personality was referring to the text messages TMZ published on Wednesday. In the conversation with an unidentified friend, 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."
TMZ also published a picture of Argento and Bennett laying in a bed together, both shirtless.
In the screen grabs of the text messsages, Argento told her friend that she wasn't aware that Bennett was underage when they had sex. Kelly and her guests don't buy that, though, since she co-starred in a 2004 movie with the former child actor when he was 7.
Argento has been among the loudest voices in the #MeToo movement after accusing Harvey Weinstein of raping her when she was 21, but Kelly noted the Italian actress and filmmaker was not included in the New York Times' exposé on the Weinstein scandal.
"Maybe they just had questions about her truth and honesty," Kelly said. "You have to wonder, because if she gets accused by this guy and it's true and she knows it's true, to come out and boldly say I never had sex with him, that says something about her character."
"It's not like it's none of your business or it's more complicated than you know or the truth will come out. It's basically he's a liar is what she said," Kelly continued. "And the very next day, we see these text messages suggesting she's the one misleading."
Kelly got an applause from her audience when she recognized that women lie, too, and dropped a few historical examples, including Duke University lacrosse team members being falsely accused of rape.
"Women are fallible, too. The accusers in the #MeToo movement can be fallible, they're not all truthful," Kelly said, but hopes their lies don't discredit an entire well-intentioned movement.
"But people who have problem with women raising up against a patriarchy will use this to say the movement has no validity and that's wrong too," she concluded on the subject.
The discussion aired after Bennett broke his silence on the matter when he released a statement on Wednesday. Read in its entirety below.
Many brave women and men have spoken out about their own experiences during the #metoo movement, and I appreciate the bravery that it took for each and every one of them to take such a stand. 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. 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.