Asia Argento Loses 'X-Factor Italy' Gig in Wake of Sexual Assault Scandal
Asia Argento was dropped from X-Factor Italy amid accusations that she sexually abused a [...]
Asia Argento was dropped from X-Factor Italy amid accusations that she sexually abused a 17-year-old actor who once appeared in a movie with her.
Multiple outlets have reported that the 42-year-old Italian actress and filmmaker will still appear in the first seven episodes of the show covering the auditions, but will be replaced by a new judge when the show starts airing live episodes in October. The show premieres Sept. 6.
Italian press reports via Variety say that Argento's ex-husband, Italian pop star Morgan, will likely be her replacement.
Following the allegations against Argento, Sky Italia and FremantleMedia issued a statement saying that if the accusations were true, they "would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration."
Allegations of sexual assault were brought against Argento earlier this month by a report in The New York Times, claiming that former child actor Jimmy Bennett accused her of assault last fall in a letter sent to her and her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. Bennett claimed that Argento kissed him before performing oral sex on him and engaging in intercourse at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Ray, California when he was 17.
The report details that Argento paid Bennett a $380,000 settlement in the matter. She has admitted the payout, which she says was made by Bourdain, but has denied having any sexual relationship with Bennett.
"I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article," she said in a statement to journalist Yashar Ali. "I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
Argento claims the two had a friendship which ended when Bennett "unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me" following her public accusation of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein last fall. Argento said Bennett reached out knowing Bourdain was "a man of great perceived wealth" and that the late chef decided to handle the matter quietly.
The New York Times has defended its report, with a spokesperson saying, "We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting, which was based on verified documents and multiple sources. It is worth noting that Ms. Argento, her lawyer and agent were contacted repeatedly and given four days to respond to the story."
Days after Argento denied a sexual relationship with Bennett, he released his own statement explaining his silence on the allegations. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he "chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me."
"My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself," he continued, referencing Argento's claims that she was sexually assaulted by disgraced Hollywood producer Weinstein. "I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative."
"I was underage when the event took place and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public," Bennett, 22, continued.
"At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society," he added. "I didn't think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy."