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Asia Argento Denies She Had Sex With Young Actor

Mr. Bennett, a child actor who charmed Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis and earned the nickname Jimmy Two-Takes because he rarely flubbed his lines, said he felt betrayed when he saw Ms. Argento come forward in October with her account of being sexually assaulted by the movie producer Harvey Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997.

Mr. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts in New York, including first-degree rape; none are related to Ms. Argento. His lawyers have said their relationship was consensual.

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman issued a statement on Monday saying that “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.”

In November, a month after Ms. Argento first spoke out about her experience with Mr. Weinstein in a New Yorker article, Mr. Bennett sent her a notice of his intent to sue over what he said was a case of sexual battery in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, Calif. The aftermath of the 2013 encounter had left him betrayed and precipitated a number of emotional problems, according to the notice of intent; the document was sent to Richard Hofstetter, Mr. Bourdain’s longtime lawyer, who was also representing Ms. Argento at the time.

The notice asked for $ 3.5 million in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery. It said that Mr. Bennett had made more than $ 2.7 million in the five years before the 2013 meeting with Ms. Argento, but that his income has since dropped to an average of $ 60,000 a year, which he attributed to the trauma that followed the sexual encounter with Ms. Argento.

Ms. Argento, who is divorced and has two children, was both a mentor and a mother figure to Mr. Bennett, the notice said.

Mr. Bennett was 7 when he was cast in “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” a 2004 film Ms. Argento directed, starred in and helped write. It depicts the relationship between a prostitute played by Ms. Argento and her son, played by Mr. Bennett and two other actors. Ms. Argento’s character dresses her son as a girl to lure men, and the boy is eventually raped.

In interviews and subsequent social media posts between the two over the years, Ms. Argento and Mr. Bennett referred to each other as mother and son.

Source: NYT > World

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