Los Angeles authorities looking into Asia Argento allegation

Asia Argento attends the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center

Argento said that she and Bennett had been "linked in friendship only" but that Bennett had made the claims after she had made her own allegations of sexual assault against producer Harvey Weinstein last October.

In a statement to New York's Yashar Ali, Argento now denies sexually assaulting Bennett and is "deeply shocked and hurt" by what she calls an "absolutely false" report. As detailed in a New York Times story published Sunday, Bennett claimed Argento sexually assaulted him when he was 17. She said he'd raped her at the festival in 1997, and predicted he'd be shunned and never welcomed back to the festival now that his predatory history had come to light.

Argento also said it was actually her then-boyfriend, late television star Bourdain, who told her it was best they keep the matter private and offer Bennett a payoff to evade further harassment.

Tarana Burke, the activist who founded #MeToo more than a decade ago, reiterated on Monday that hard and uncomfortable conversations about "power and humanity and privilege and harm" is exactly what the movement is about.

She is alleged to have performed oral sex before engaging in full intercourse with Bennett, a successful child actor and rock musician.

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Investigators in Los Angeles are now seeking to talk to Bennett or his representatives about an incident alleged to have occurred at a Southern California hotel in 2013, when Bennett was 17, Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris said Monday. The age of consent in California is 18 years of age. According to the newspaper, court documents indicate that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 to settle the accusations.

Based on a letter of intent to sue sent to Argento's lawyers by Bennet's lawyer in November 2017, the young man sought $3.5 million for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault, and battery.

In 2004 Bennett, then 7 years old, played Argento's son in the "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things " - a film Argento also co-wrote and directed.

Asia added, "This is, therefore, the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long standing persecution". In addition, Bourdain reportedly told Argento that she wasn't purchasing silence, "only freedom from inconvenience".

The Italian actress has become one of the prominent faces of the #MeToo movement, speaking out against Harvey Weinstein by whom she says she was raped. A number of Italians have also taken to social media to demand Argento's removal from the show, which is scheduled to start airing September 6.

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