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Asia Argento, #MeToo activist, settled sex assault claim against her, report says

A prominent #MeToo activist and Harvey Weinstein accuser recently agreed to pay $380,000 to settle a sexual assault complaint against her, according to a new report.

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The New York Times reported Sunday that actress Asia Argento, who said last year that Weinstein raped her in 1997, settled a claim by former child star Jimmy Bennett, now 22.

In a notice of intent to sue that Bennett filed shortly after Argento, 42, went public with her Weinstein allegations in October, Bennett claimed Argento sexually assaulted him in 2013, when he was 17, the Times reported. The alleged incident occurred in a hotel room in California, where the age of consent is 18.

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Weinstein's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement released Monday to CNN that the reported settlement shows "a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento."

"What is perhaps most egregious is the timing,” Brafman said. According to the Times, Bennett’s notice of intent to sue was sent to Argento in November, one month after she went public with her allegations against Weinstein.

"An unidentified party" sent the Times documents related to the case, including a selfie of Bennett and Argento in bed, the newspaper reported, adding that "three people familiar with the case" had confirmed the documents' authenticity.

The complaint said Bennett was traumatized by the incident, which "hindered [his] work and income and threatened his mental health," the Times reported. Bennett, who starred in a 2004 movie with Argento and played her character's son, had viewed their bond as a "mother-son relationship," the complaint said.

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The Times also reported that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who met Argento in 2016 and began dating her, helped her "navigate the matter." Bourdain committed suicide in June.

Bennett declined to comment on the Times' piece, and Argento did not return requests for comment, the newspaper reported.

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