- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The actor who claims he was raped as a teenager by Asia Argento, a leader of the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein victim, broke his present-day silence Wednesday, saying he was traumatized by her claims of victimhood.

Jimmy Bennett, 17 and under the age of consent at the time of the purported encounter, said he initially said nothing because “at the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society.”

According to reports in the New York Times, which Ms. Argento has denied, the two had a sexual encounter in a California hotel in 2013. Ms. Argento was 37 at the time.

“I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself,” Mr. Bennett said of Ms. Argento, a prominent Italian actress and director.

His statement was ambiguous about what he would do now. According to the New York Times report, the $380,000 that Ms. Argento agreed to pay him last November, one month after the bombshell Weinstein revelations began, did not require him to stay silent, but did require him to waive any liability claims against her and gave her rights to a potentially compromising picture of the two.

“I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time,” said Mr. Bennett, now 22.

“I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence,” he concluded.

Earlier Wednesday, TMZ published texts purportedly between Ms. Argento and a friend that, if authentic, decisively refute Ms. Argento’s denial of any sexual relationship between she and Mr. Bennett, which would’ve been statutory rape at the time.

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