Mira Sorvino is speaking out on accusations leveled against her friend and fellow #MeToo warrior. Asia Argento has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor in 2013 and then paying him off with $380,000, allegations that first surfaced in a blistering New York Times report.
Sorvino and Argento were among the more than 80 women who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, including rape, last year. Their courage in coming forward then created an entire social movement, dubbed #MeToo, and led to dozens of other revelations about an alleged culture of assault in Hollywood.
Now Sorvino is responding to news that Argento may have been a perpetrator herself.
"I have been heartsick over the recent allegations against Asia Argento. Time will clarify things and perhaps she will be exonerated, but if true, there is no lens that makes it better," Sorvino wrote in a statement posted early Wednesday morning. "Child sexual assault is a heinous crime and is against all that I and the #MeToo movement stands for."
Argento formally denied that the assault occurred, saying she never had sex with Jimmy Bennett when he was a minor, or since. (He was 17 and she was 37 when the alleged attack occurred). Argento also insisted that her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain insisted on the payout.
But texts leaked to TMZ appear to tell a different story. In a message that TMZ claims is from Argento to an unnamed friend, she admits to having sex with Bennett, but says she didn’t realize he was underage.
The text read: "I had sex with him and it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter. The public knows nothing, only what The New York Times wrote. Which is one-sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me."
The website also published a selfie of them shirtless in bed.
Of the picture, the alleged text reads: "You can see my tits. That’s all. It doesn’t mean s--t. He is standing up."
ALLEGED VICTIM SPEAKS OUT
Bennett issued a statement via his attorney, Gordon K. Sattro on Wednesday.
"I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself," Bennett's statement read in part. "I was underage when the event took place, and 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. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society."
He confirmed that, despite Argento’s denials to the contrary, they did have sex when he was a minor.
"I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence."