…by Jonas E. Alexis
Asia Argento essentially kills the #MeToo movement. The powerhouse actress was one of the first women to come forward and accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual assault. Argento was also one of the first individuals to take the #MeToo movement to a new height.
Yet in 2013 Argento herself sexually assaulted a 17-year-old actor and musician by the name of Jimmy Bennett in a California hotel. This latest news inexorably proves that Harvey Weinstein was not the only guy in Hollywood who was pimping the system. He just happened to be the one who caught red-handed. As the New York Times itself puts it:
“Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.
“That claim and the subsequent arrangement for payments are laid out in documents between lawyers for Argento and Bennett, a former child actor who once played her son in a movie.”
Argento actually gave Bennett “alcohol to drink and showed him a series of notes she had written to him on hotel stationery. Then she kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex.”
Bennett was 7 years old when he was cast in one of Argento’s movie, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. Argento is also the figure behind the “masochistic” movie Scarlet Diva, which is also “a semi-autobiographical film.” The movie is mainly about drugs, sex, and what Jim Morrison would have called “the road of excess.”
Argento complained that Weinstein was preying on her weaknesses, but the same Argento was preying on teenagers’ weaknesses. As the New York Times itself declares, “The fallout from ‘a sexual battery’ was so traumatic that it hindered Mr. Bennett’s work and income and threatened his mental health.”
What started Bennett’s quest for justice was when Argento began to be viewed by the #MeToo movement and much of the media as a conspicuous voice against sexual assault. “For Mr. Bennett, seeing Ms. Argento present herself as a victim of sexual assault was too much to bear…and called up memories of their hotel reunion.”
Now Argento’s lawyer is calling people like Bennett “shitty individuals who’ve preyed on” the “strengths and weaknesses” of celebrities like Argento! Rose McGowan twitted:
“I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere.”
Will she work on behalf of Bennett? In that sense, will she publicly denounce Argento as a hypocrite? If she cannot do that, then wouldn’t she implicitly be saying that the #MeToo movement is inherently contradictory?
-  Kim Severson, “Asia Argento, a #MeToo Leader, Made a Deal With Her Own Accuser,” NY Times, August 19, 2018.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.