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Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento ‘paid off former child star who claimed she sexually assaulted him when he was 17’

The 42-year-old Italian actress reportedly paid now 22-year-old Jimmy Bennett £300,000 to silence him

HARVEY Weinstein accuser Asia Argento paid off a former child star after he accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17, it's reported.

The Italian actress, who is one of the most prominent activists of the #MeToo movement, quietly paid now 22-year-old Jimmy Bennett £300,000 ($380,000).

According to the New York Times, the young actor reportedly claimed that in 2013 he had sex with Argento in a hotel room in California, where the age of consent is 18.

The Times said their report was based on correspondences between lawyers for Argento and Bennett that was sent anonymously to them and verified by people familiar with the case.

Included with the documents was a selfie showing the partially-nude couple in bed dated May 2013, when Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37, the report said.

Bennett’s lawyer filed a notice of intent demanding $3.5 million in damages in November — one month after Argento, the longtime girlfriend of the late Anthony Bourdain, and 12 other women publicly accused Weinstein of rape.
The notice claimed that Argento’s “sexual battery” of Bennett left him with lasting emotional trauma that rendered him unable to make a living, the report said.
The pair met in 2004 when Argento cast Bennett, then just 7, to play her son in “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”

It was an early highlight in a prolific childhood acting career for Bennett, who also appeared in “Daddy Day Care” and “The Amityville Horror.”

In 2013, Bennett was visiting Argento’s California hotel room when she convinced a relative to leave them alone, The Times reported, citing the documents.

She then plied him with alcohol and sexually assaulted him, it’s alleged in the filing.

Lawyers for Argento and Bennett agreed to a deal in which she would pay him the settlement over a year-and-a-half, beginning last April, according to the report.

Argento became one of the most well-known activists of the #MeToo movement after she told the New Yorker magazine that Weinstein raped her at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 when she was 21.

Argento told the magazine that she continued to have a relationship with Weinstein because she was afraid of angering him.

Weinstein has been indicted on sex crime accusations involving three women, but not including Argento.

Representatives for Argento could not be immediately for comment.

Through a representative, Bennett declined to comment to the Times.

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