Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Says He Feared ‘Stigma’ of Coming Forward

Jimmy Bennett has issued his first public statement since news surfaced on Sunday that actress Asia Argento had agreed to pay him $380,000 to settle a sexual abuse claim.

Bennett said he had sought to resolve the matter privately, and had not spoken out sooner, “because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative.”

“At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society,” he said. “I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy.”

Argento was one of the first accusers to come forward in October 2017 with allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Bennett said when Argento came out as a victim, it stirred memories of his own experience in 2013.

According to the initial report in the New York Times, Argento had sex with Bennett when he was 17 at a hotel room in Marina del Rey, Calif. Argento has denied the allegations and said she will do what it takes to defend herself.

Bennett said he would like to “move past this event in my life,” adding, “today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence.”

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