Asia Argento has threatened to take legal action against Rose McGowan. Once allies in #MeToo, McGowan distanced herself from Argento following sexual assault allegations made by former child actor Jimmy Bennett against the Italian actress. On August 27, McGowan released a statement claiming that her partner, Rain Dove, had received text messages from Argento that confirmed a sexual relationship with Bennett had taken place, and that Argento had been receiving unsolicited nude photos of Bennett since he was 12.
“Dear @RoseMcGowan,” Argento tweeted on Monday. “It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th. If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.”
Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th. If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.
— Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) September 17, 2018
On August 19, The New York Times published an article revealing that Argento settled the sexual assault accusation made against her by Bennett in 2013. Bennett alleged the incident took place at a hotel room in California when he was 17 years old and Argento was 37. The age of consent in California is 18 years old.
“I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article…as circulated also in national and international news,” read a statement from Argento. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
Argento and McGowan have been linked as activists and leaders of #MeToo; both actresses made rape allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein last fall. The two women met several years ago, but McGowan says they only became close in the past year due to their shared experience with Weinstein. “Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t,” McGowan wrote. “We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices.”