What do sex assault allegations against Asia Argento mean for #MeToo?

MeToo hero Asia Argento denies sexual assault of 17yo actor despite massive payout

"I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and global news", Argento said in a statement given to reporter Yashar Ali.

Bennett says in the notice that he had sex with Argento in a California hotel in 2013.

Argento said she is persecuted.

"Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted", Argento said in her statement.

Bennett was 17 at the time of the alleged assault - a year younger than California's age of consent.

Argento in her suit against Weinstein accused him of raping her in 1997 when she was 21.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Argento, a Harvey Weinstein accuser and leading figure in the #MeToo movement, had paid Jimmy Bennett US$380,000 over the alleged 2013 incident at a Los Angeles hotel.

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That payout was only a fraction of the $3.5 million that Bennett had requested in the notice.

Argento and Bennett first met when they co-starred in a 2004 film called "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" in which Argento played Bennett's prostitute mother. He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone and has pleaded not guilty in a NY court to charges of rape and other charges.

The statement does not address the photo of Argento naked in bed with Bennett that multiple people had seen and verified according to the Times. Bennet's lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, emailed the Times saying "In the coming days Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music". Weinstein has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

Argento did not immediately return Fox News' requests for comment.

McGowan and Argento have been among the most prominent women to come forward with allegations of rape against now-disgraced film titan Harvey Weinstein, who is facing criminal charges in NY unrelated to McGowan or Argento. Weinstein's lawyers have said their relationship was consensual.

"The outgrowth of these revelations-supported by such respected actresses as Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan-led to the "#MeToo" movement, which encourages women everywhere to come forward with their stories of sexual mistreatment, to end the culture of abuse and intimidation or payoff which has plagued society, most notably in Hollywood, for an unconscionable length of time.

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