Earlier today, we reported that the NYT had gotten ahold of documents showing that actress-director Asia Argento had paid a young actor, Jimmy Bennett, $380,000 to settle a claim that said the two had sex just after his 17th birthday. Bennett claims that the trauma incurred by the alleged assault has forced him out of his career and in turn, caused severe damage to his income.
Now, according to Variety, the other shoe is about to drop as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is beginning to look into the claims, although no formal investigation is currently happening.
“There’s no investigation at this point,” said Deputy Kimberly Alexander. “They’re going to exhaust all avenues since the information has come to light, but it’s not under investigation at this time.”
That being said, the report claims that detectives will indeed reach out to Jimmy Bennett about the alleged incident and determine how to move forward from there. Variety also confirms that the Department wasn’t aware of any of this news until the NYT report surfaced.
Of course, these claims could result in major charges considering the fact that Bennett was under the legal age of consent when the incident took place and would automatically be a criminal act, regardless of any sort of verbal consent.
We have yet to hear from Asia Argento, herself, regarding the NYT report or any investigations. She’s been one of the most vocal advocates of the #MeToo movement, and many, rightfully so, are pointing out how this latest news could be a blow to the momentum of the aforementioned movement.
Another, albeit minor, issue stemming from this latest news is the status of Argento’s role on the Italian “X Factor,” which features the actress as a judge. While no decisions have been made, producers for the show have said that if the NYT report turns out to be true, “we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento.”