Argento was one of Weinstein’s initial accusers, telling the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow that he forcibly performed oral sex on her 20 years ago. Argento has also been at the forefront of the movement to hold Hollywood’s sexual abusers to account.
Weinstein’s criminal attorney, Ben Brafman, argued in a statement that the revelations about Argento undermine her claims against Weinstein.
“This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts who sought to destroy Harvey Weinstein,” Brafman said. “What is perhaps most egregious, is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr. Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years. The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were actually vetted and accordingly, cause all of us to pause and allow due process to prevail, not condemnation by fundamental dishonesty.”
Argento has not sued Weinstein, and her allegations are not part of the criminal case against him. Weinstein faces up to life in prison if convicted on six charges of sexual assault and rape.
Argento was accused of having sex with Bennett at a hotel room in Marina del Rey, Calif., in 2013, when the actor was just 17 years old. According to the Times report, Argento agreed to pay $380,000 to settle the allegations.