Asia Argento dropped by X-Factor Italy - Variety

After sex-assault claims by Bennett

(ANSA) - New York, August 27 - Asia Argento has been dropped by X-Factor Italy after the sexual assault charges levelled at the #MeToo figurehead by young US actor Jimmy Bennett, Variety said Monday.
    Variety's report has not yet been confirmed by Sky Italia and Fremantlemedia, which produce the show.
    Argento will not appear in live shows but will however be seen in the first seven sets of auditions recorded starting in March, the entertainment weekly said.
    Bennet's lawyer said last week that the Italian actress and director's denial that the two had allegedly non-consensual sex five years ago was false.
    The 22-year-old's lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, said he was sexually assaulted by his hitherto mother figure when he was 17.
    Argento allegedly agreed to pay him $380,000 to settle a lawsuit over the alleged sexual assault, the NYT reported last Monday.
    The actress denied this, saying the money was aimed at ending "persecution".
    The pair met in 2004 when Bennett played Argento's son in a film she made about a drug-using mother.
    Argento admitted paying Bennett $380,000 to settle the abuse lawsuit but said she had done it to avert blackmail, saying she had never had sex with the former child actor.
    Saying she was "shocked and wounded" by what she called "fake news", she said her late partner, chef Anthony Bourdain, who committed suicide on June 8, had advised her to make the payout to stop Bennett keeping asking her for money.
    The TMZ website last week published a selfie of the pair lying in bed and said it was one of four snaps taken in a Marina del Rey hotel in 2013.
    TMZ also published a text message allegedly from Argento to a friend saying "I had sex with him, I didn't know he was under age until the blackmail letter arrived".
    She also allegedly said "that horny kid jumped on me".


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