Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Activist Argento settles sex assault case

Activist Argento settles sex assault case

Californian age of consent is 18.

The New York Times published a report on Sunday citing court documents the paper had received, via encrypted email from an anonymous source, showing that a now 22-year-old actor accused the Italian actress and director of "sexual battery" when he was 17 years old. Three people familiar with the case said the documents were authentic, the Times reported. has contacted Argento's rep for comment. Bennett declined to comment to the Times.

In October 2017 they accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, which precipitated his rapid downfall and became the staple of the #MeToo movement, where women come out with their stories of sexual assault, often at the hands of similarly powerful men. His lawyer Gordon K. Sattro reportedly told the outlet, "In the coming days Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music".

In response, Argento reportedly agreed to pay Bennett a total of $380,000, beginning with a lump sum payment of $200,000. On that day, Bennett was reportedly driven by a family member to meet Argento, who asked the family member to leave to she could spend time alone with the young actor. "We hope nothing like this ever happens to you again", Goldberg wrote.

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Argento had admitted in a New Yorker piece, as relayed by writer Ronan Farrow, that she had "consensual sexual relations with [Weinstein] multiple times over the course of the next five years" following the alleged assault, but that they were "one-sided and 'onanistic.'" According to Farrow's piece, she felt Weinstein would "ruin her career if she didn't comply".

Bennett's legal action was launched a month after Argento's accusations against Weinstein were made public, the Times said, adding that his lawyer claimed his client recalled the hotel encounter after seeing Argento present herself as a victim of sexual assault.

The events took place in 2013, but the pay-off was only demanded by Bennett and paid by Argento in recent months, as the scandal around Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

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