Asia Argento has threatened to sue her friend and fellow #MeToo campaigner Rose McGowan after McGowan issued a statement claiming the Argento had sexually assaulted a child actor when he was 17.
Argento, a leading figure of the #MeToo movement, was accused of sexually assaulting Jimmy Bennett in 2013, then later arranging to pay him $380,000 to stop him taking legal action, The New York Times reported last month.
McGowan issued a statement a week after the story’s publication appearing to confirm the sexual assault allegation against Argento.
McGowan said she learned of Argento’s alleged sexual relations with Bennett from her partner, model Rain Dove, whom Argento texted to say she had slept with the child actor.
“Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th.
“If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.”
In her August 27 statement, McGowan also said that she encouraged Dove, her partner, to go to the Los Angeles police with Argento’s texts. Those texts were later published by TMZ.
She said: “I responded with ‘You have to. You must.’ I wasted no time. It wasn’t hard to say or support. What was hard was the shell shock of the realization that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy.”
Argento and McGowan grew close over the last year and bonded over their roles in the #MeToo movement and allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, whom they had both accused of rape.