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Asia Argento admits having sexual encounter with underage co-star — but disputes accuser's account

Asia Argento admits having sexual encounter with underage co-star — but disputes accuser's account
By Louise Miner with Associated Press, AFP
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The Italian actress recalled her experience during an Italian TV show on Sunday, after having previously denied the two had any sexual relationship, saying she "froze" during the encounter.


Italian actress Asia Argento has admitted she had sex with young actor Jimmy Bennett in 2013. The 43-year-old — who last month denied ever having a sexual relationship with Bennett — said during an Italian TV show interview on Sunday that she "froze" at the time. 

The 22-year-old actor gave his account on September 24 on Italian TV, saying, "It turned into her placing her hands on me and following that was when she pushed me onto the bed and took my pants off."

He was 17 at the time and the legal age for consent in California is 18.

But Argento, who was 37 at the time of the alleged incident, denies Bennett's account of events and said: "He started kissing me and touching me, but not as a mother and child as I saw him, but as a boy with raging hormones ... And that froze me."

"He literally jumped on me (...) He was on me, and he came. Me, I didn't feel anything, I didn't react because for me it was unthinkable," added the actress.

"He told me it was a fantasy he'd had since the age of 12. For him, I was a hunting trophy," she said.

It’s reported Bennett then asked for $3.5 million (€3 million) from her to keep quiet. Argento's then-boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, allegedly paid him $250,000 (€215,316). 

After Bourdain’s suicide in June, Argento apparently stopped the payments.

Bennett's allegations came after she accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape and she became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. Weinstein has repeatedly denied accusations of non-consensual sex.

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