Young Actor Says He Was ‘Too Afraid’ To Speak Up Before About Sexual Assault Allegation Against Asia Argento

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Actor Jimmy Bennett said that he was too “afraid and ashamed” to speak up before about allegedly being sexually assaulted by actress Asia Argento.

“I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public,” 22-year-old Bennett told the New York Times Wednesday in his first public statement. (RELATED: #MeToo Leader Allegedly Paid Off A Man She Sexually Assaulted)

Actor Jimmy Bennett attends Relativity Media's "21 and Over" premiere at Westwood Village Theatre on February 21, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Relativity Media)

Actor Jimmy Bennett attends Relativity Media’s “21 and Over” premiere at Westwood Village Theatre on February 21, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Relativity Media)

“At the time, I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society,” he added. “I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy.”

The comments came following the reports Sunday in the Times, that Asia Argento, one of the leaders of the #MeToo movement), allegedly paid $380,000 to Bennett and, in return, he would agree not to sue her for allegedly sexually assaulting him when he was 17 years old in 2013. She was 37 at the time.

The Italian actress finally responded to the report on Tuesday and denied any wrongdoing.

However, early Wednesday morning TMZ came out with a report that allegedly contained text messages between Argento and a friend that made it appear that she admitted to having sex with Bennett.

In the New Yorker in October, Argento accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on her back in 1997. Her story among dozens of others led to the #MeToo movement.

Katie Jerkovich

Entertainment Reporter

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