Asia Argento insists Jimmy Bennett sexually assaulted her
(WENN) -- Asia Argento has sensationally claimed it was her accuser Jimmy Bennett who sexually assaulted her, not the other way around.
In The New York Times last month, the Italian actress and outspoken #MeToo figure was accused of sexually assaulting her former co-star in a California hotel room in 2013, when he was 17 years old, and allegedly agreeing to pay him $380,000 to settle the case.
She quickly denied the accusations, claiming she had never had "a sexual relationship" with him, but shortly after, texts purportedly showing her admitting sleeping with him and photographs showing them topless in bed together emerged online.
The 42-year-old has remained silent ever since, but her lawyer Mark Jay Heller has now spoken to TMZ.com, claiming she was the one who was sexually assaulted and referred to some of the leaked texts, which included her writing, "The horny kid jumped me ... I had sex with him it felt weird" to a friend.
"Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her," Heller continued.
He insisted that she didn't lie with her denial statement because it was a one-time sexual encounter, and not a relationship.
According to Heller, Argento's then-boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, agreed to pay Bennett 380,000 on her behalf, even though she did nothing wrong, because Bennett was trying to extort the actress. Bourdain had paid $250,000 when he passed away in June, and Argento will not be paying the remaining $130,000.
He concludes, "Asia does not intend to prosecute Bennett for his conduct and recognizes that his unfortunate past, his stalled acting career, and a lawsuit against his own parents for allegedly misappropriating more than a million and a half dollars from his account might explain his desperation to seek money from Asia and Bourdain for this falsely alleged incident that took place more than 5 years ago."
Bennett, now 22, issued his own statement in August, saying he had originally chosen to handle it in private, and that he decided to pursue legal action after Argento went public with her sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The producer has denied all claims of non-consensual sex.