Argento says she was “deeply shocked” by the report and called the allegations “absolutely false,” according to a statement obtained by Yashar Ali.
“I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett,” Argento said.
She claims that Bennett made “an exorbitant request of money” from her knowing that Bourdain “was a man of great perceived wealth.” Argento says Bourdain wanted to handle the matter privately and says that Bourdain “personally undertook to help Bennett economically.”
The New York Times broke the story alleging that the 42-year-old actress and director settled a notice of intent to sue from Jimmy Bennett, who had previously worked with her in a film. The two reportedly struck a settlement right around the time she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, and Argento allegedly paid the now 22-year-old $380,000.
Many leaders of the #MeToo movement have distanced themselves from Argento since the news broke, including Rose McGowan, who said she was “heartbroken.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday afternoon that they were trying to get in touch with the alleged victim or his reps “in an effort to appropriately document any potential criminal allegations.”