#MeToo activist pays off actor who accused her of sex assault

Actors Jimmy Bennett and Asia Argento reportedly taken

Authorities said Monday that they are looking into sexual assault allegations by a young actor against Italian actress Asia Argento - one of the most prominent activists of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

The newspaper said it received court documents that included a selfie of Argento and Bennett in bed.

Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, has been a vocal supporter of the Me Too movement, but now it seems a schism is growing between the group and the Italian actress.

Argento said the $380,000 payment was made by her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, the television star chef.

The alleged assault occurred when Argento was 37 and the actor was 17, below the legal age of consent in California. Allegedly, Bennett's lawyer reached out to Argento a year ago after the Harvey Weinstein news broke.

That's the situation facing the #MeToo movement this week after the New York Times reported that Asia Argento - among the first and most outspoken women who accused film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault - settled a sex assault complaint against her involving a minor past year.

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The police statement, posted on the department's Facebook page, reads: "The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is aware of the media reports naming Asia Argento as being involved in an alleged 2013 incident in an area policed by our Marina Del Rey Station".

Based on a letter of intent to sue sent to Argento's lawyers by Bennet's lawyer in November 2017, the young man sought $3.5 million for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault, and battery.

Since then, more than 80 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. In fact, Argento acted as Bennett's mother in the movie "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" when Bennett was 7 years old.

McGowan has gained stature as a victims' advocate in the year since the Weinstein allegations first broke in the New York Times and New Yorker last October.

Argento did not immediately return Fox News' requests for comment.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman, seen at left with his client Harvey Weinstein in May, issued a statement that blasted Argento, among the most outspoken accusers of the former film mogul. New York Times reporter and CBS News contributor Jodi Kantor helped break the Weinstein story past year and said the report "certainly complicates" the #MeToo movement.

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