Actress and #MeToo champion Asia Argento is fighting back against allegations that she sexually assaulted a 17-year-old boy and paid him off to keep it quiet.
On Monday, The New York Times reported Argento was accused of plying former child actor Jimmy Bennett with alcohol and having sex with him at Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Rey, California, in 2013. The Italian actress met Bennett 10 years earlier when they appeared together in a movie when he was just 7 years old.
In a statement released Tuesday, she said: “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
She accused Bennett of making "an exorbitant request of money" after her fame grew as a Harvey Weinstein accuser.
Argento added that it was her late boyfriend, renowned TV personality Anthony Bourdain, who ultimately paid the former child actor $380,000.
“Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect," Argento said in a statement.
Bourdain committed suicide two months ago.
Bennett could not be reached for comment.