Sheriff’s officials said Monday they never received a complaint about an alleged sexual encounter between actress Asia Argento and a then-17-year-old actor in a Marina del Rey hotel room, but investigators plan to reach out to the alleged victim and his attorney.
Argento, a leading voice in the #MeToo movement and one of the first women to publicly claim she was sexually assaulted by producer Harvey Weinstein, allegedly engaged in sexual activity with then-teen actor Jimmy Bennett in 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
According to a report in the New York Times, Argento, now 42, paid the now-22-year-old Bennett $380,000 when he raised sex-assault allegations against her last year. Argento has not publicly commented on the report.
Sheriff’s officials said a report was never filed with the agency involving Argento and Bennett, but they confirmed Monday that the department would reach out to Bennett and his attorney.
Argento and Bennett appeared in a film together in 2004, with Bennett playing the role of Argento’s son. According to the New York Times report, the pair stayed in touch after the film and met for a reunion in 2013 at the Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton.
During that meeting, Argento allegedly kissed the teen, performed oral sex and engaged in sexual intercourse with him, the New York Times reported.
Argento was most recently in a relationship with Anthony Bourdain, the author and television chef who committed suicide in June.
Argento claims she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in 1997 when she was 21 years old. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, issued a statement Monday saying the revelations about Argento and Bennett show the “stunning level of hypocrisy” by the actress.
“What is perhaps most egregious is the time, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr. Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years,” Brafman said.