In mid-August, the New York Times reported that Italian actress and #MeToo advocate Asia Argento had reached a deal to pay a former co-star — Jimmy Bennett — who accused her of sexually assaulting him as a minor. Shortly after, Argento’s fellow-activist and Harvey Weinstein–accuser Rose McGowan released a statement addressing the report, in which she said that text messages purporting to contradict Argento’s denial of the allegation had been handed over to police by the person she was dating, Rain Dove.
On Monday, Argento issued an initial threat: McGowan must “retract” her statement within 24 hours or face legal action. Now, on Tuesday, Argento tweeted that McGowan had missed the deadline, and that she has instructed a law firm to file a lawsuit against McGowan and Dove.
To . The 24hr deadline given to retract your recent false statements about me has now passed. I must inform you & that I’ve instructed Mishcon de Reya to seek substantial damages for deception, fraud, coercion and libel. You will hear from them shortly.Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) September 18, 2018
Dear . 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.Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) September 17, 2018
But in the days following Argento’s denial, text messages and pictures that seemed to contradict her denial began to circulate. On August 27, McGowan issued a statement about the texts, saying that they had been exchanged between Argento and Rain Dove, a gender-non-conforming activist and model. The statement reads, in part:
I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating- Rain Dove. They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet. Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message “Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.” There were a few other details revealed as well that I am not at liberty to mention in this statement as investigators do their job.
This post has been updated throughout to reflect Argento’s Tuesday tweet.
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