Asia Argento, one of the first accusers of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was hit with her own allegations this week, for allegedly paying off her former child co-star Jimmy Bennett, who claims they had a sexual encounter when he was 17 and she was 37.
Bennett, who once played her son in a movie, said the actress gave him over $300,000 to keep quiet about the encounter, for which he says there is photographic evidence.
The details were released in a New York Times expose which ran Monday.
Argento came out with a statement in response to the allegations on Tuesday, which was shared via Twitter by journalist Yashar Ali:
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 21, 2018
While claiming she paid Bennett off to keep quiet about a threat of blackmail, she pointed to her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, who took his own life earlier this year, claiming it was his idea to pay Bennett off.
This was a claim that many felt to be in very poor taste, as Bourdain cannot tell us his side of the story.
So this is the throw a dead man under the bus defense ?
— Sheldon David (@sdavid6306) August 21, 2018
Many also suggested that, if Argento and Bennett never engaged in sexual intercourse, why did Bourdain and Argento agree to pay him off? $300,000 is no small sum, even for wealthy celebrities like Bourdain and Argento.
At the end of the day, the creed of the #MeToo movement, as well as opponents of sexual abuse and assault for decades, has been to “believe all victims.”
Ought we to do that now, or do we suddenly realize that when accusations are made, it’s important to wait until all the facts are on the table?
I don’t know if Argento or Bennett is telling the truth, but perhaps it’s time we stop judging a matter before all the facts are known.