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ASIA ARGENTO DENIES ASSAULTING MINOR, BLAMES ANTHONY BOURDAIN FOR PAYOFF

Asia Argento is speaking out about allegations that she sexually assaulted a 17-year-old boy in 2013. The 42-year-old said she never had "any sexual relationship" with Bennett, and that in fact, her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain helped her pay him to end his "long-standing persecution" of her.

In a statement reported first by journalist Yashar Ali, she says Bourdain considered Bennett "dangerous" and believed a $380,000 payout to him was a way "to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help" after he "unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me." Argento said she was "deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false," a reference to a New York Times report detailing Bennett’s allegations.

Argento has been one of the most high-profile and vocal leaders of #MeToo, a movement that came about after she and and dozens of other actresses accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape.

TMZ, notably, claims they’ve seen a post-sex selfie and texts in which Argento contradicts herself on the subject.

ROSE MCGOWAN BACKLASH

Rose McGowan, usually a fierce critic of anyone accuse of assault, has found herself in a tricky situation as one of Weinstein’s accusers and one of Argento’s close friends. On Twitter after the story detailing the allegations against Argento broke, McGowan wrote: "None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle."

Followers slammed her for what they called "cronyism" and "double standards."