Photo of Asia Argento with 17-year-old actor surfaces
The newspaper reported that, months after publicly accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape, Argento agreed to make payments to Bennett after he accused her of sexual assault.
Argento denied the allegations in the newspaper in a statement first reported Tuesday by the Huffington Post, saying, “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Monday that it was trying to reach Bennett in order to “appropriately document any potential criminal allegations.”
The Times reports it has obtained documents which show Argento arranged to pay Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in 2013 at a hotel in California.
As part of the agreement, Argento reportedly received the photo’s copyright.
Argento’s lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment.
An attorney for Bennett, Gordon K. Sattro, said in a statement to CNN on Monday that Bennett would be preparing a response.
“At this time, our client, Jimmy Bennett, does not wish to comment on the documents or the events discussed in the New York Times article yesterday evening,” the statement read.
“While we realize that the news cycle demands an immediate response, many times, people need more than a few minutes or hours to respond. We are asking that you give our client some time and space.”
“Jimmy is going to take the next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response,” the statement added. “We ask that you respect our client’s privacy during this time. My office will reach out once he is prepared to deliver his official response.”
As of this writing, no response has been issued.
Argento and Bennett starred in the 2004 movie, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.” Bennett played her son.
Argento has been at the forefront of the #MeToo movement and is one of the women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony sex crimes — two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, one first-degree criminal sex act charge and one criminal sex act.
The charges stem from allegations from three women, according to court documents. None of the charges currently against Weinstein stem from Argento’s accusations.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity,” and he’s remained free after posting $1 million bail in cash.
The charges against Weinstein came nine months after The New Yorker and The New York Times published accounts from several women accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct.
CNN’s Susannah Cullinane and Lisa France contributed to this report.