“I turned in materials that may contribute to an honest investigation, the 28-year-old gender-nonconforming model told The New York Times on Wednesday, August 29. Dove claimed that Argento, 42, texted them, “Someone has dirt on me” and “I’m in really, really big trouble.”
Dove told the publication that they advised Argento, “You need the truth to be on the table” and to “not put down the person who’s accusing you.”
Dove’s revelation comes two days after Rose McGowan issued another response to the allegations that Argento paid off the former child actor after he accused her of sexual assault.
McGowan, 44, who previously tweeted that her “heart is broken” after learning of the scandal, expanded on her thoughts. “I would first of all like to start off this statement saying thank you for your patience. A lot of people have been demanding answers and a response to the recent events surrounding Asia Argento’s sexual assault case,” the Charmed alum said in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, August 27. “Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not.”
McGowan explained that she and Argento, 42, “bonded” throughout the past year due to their “shared experience on the [Harvey Weinstein] case.” (The actresses both accused the movie mogul of sexual misconduct.)
“Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t. We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices,” she noted. However, “everything changed in an instant” when McGowan’s partner, Dove, told her that Argento “had revealed [to them] that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet.”
The New York Times reported on August 20 that Argento quietly paid Bennett $380,000 in late 2017 after the 22-year-old actor alleged in court documents obtained by the publication that Argento gave him alcohol, performed oral sex on him and had intercourse with him in May 2013, two months after his 17th birthday. Bennett, who starred as Argento’s son in 2004’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, claimed that the incident took place in a California hotel room. The legal age of consent in the state is 18.
McGowan added that Argento texted Dove she’d “been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message, ‘Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.’”
Dove allegedly showed authorities the messages with McGowan’s support. The Brave author said “what was hard was the shell-shock of the realization that everything the #MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy.”
McGowan and Dove had visited Argento in Berlin last month in the wake of her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain’s passing. “While in Berlin, Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image,” McGowan claimed. “No one in the room knew who the extortionist was. Now we know it to be a reference to this case.”
“It’s sad to lose a friend connection, but what’s even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennett. whether or not the extortion case is true — it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right,” McGowan continued. “It is the type of thing I fight against alongside so many … Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the #MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be better — I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.”
Argento has since denied having a “sexual relationship” with Bennett.
Dove responded to McGowan’s claims in a statement to Us on Wednesday. “While the conflict may feel murky — the situation is cut and dry. An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape,” they said. “As well as such they admitted to receiving nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action. When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty.”
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