Rose McGowan Reacts to Asia Argento Reportedly Paying Off Assault Accuser: "My Heart Is Broken"

Left, Andreas Rentz, right Matthew Sperzel, both Getty Images
Asia Argento and Rose McGowan

The former ally has publicly distanced herself from the Italian actress after reports that she paid off her own sexual assault accuser.

Asia Argento's former ally Rose McGowan has publicly distanced herself from the Italian director and actress after a report in the New York Times said that Argento paid off her own sexual assault accuser. 

Both Argento and McGowan have been two of the most outspoken critics of Harvey Weinsten after coming forward as victims of the disgraced Hollywood producer last fall. 

McGowan tweeted: "I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere." 

According to photographs, McGowan first met Argento in March of 2003 and they grew closer last year over their shared experiences in coming out as the first victims of Weinstein.

She later changed course and asked her followers to "be gentle," saying that, "None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed." After receiving backlash, however, McGowan later deleted that tweet and posted, "Oh for fuck’s sake I’m not defending."

In response to McGowan's since-deleted tweet, Rosanna Arquette, another Weinstein accuser, replied: "That is for sure. Set up."

Arquette also tweeted, "the timing of this story is suspect. Asia was still raped by Harvey Weinstein." 

"Stop until you hear all the facts this is a set up," she continued. "Extortion is a problem."

Arquette also later deleted those tweets, however, and posted what appeared to be a clarification: "I stand by anyone who is a victim of sexual abuse I always have and I always will."

According to the report, Argento paid actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after a hotel assault in California when he was only 17 years old. The age of consent in California is 18. 

Bennett originally asked for $3.5 million in damages. The Times also reported that Bennett had filed a lawsuit against his parents for withholding his earnings from him, for ultimately cheating him out of $1.5 million. It was settled for undisclosed terms. Bennett and Argento continued to keep in touch after the alleged attack. 

Argento later denied that she had a sexual relationship with Bennett, claiming the payoff was the idea of her then-boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain. "I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news," said Argento, in part, in a Tuesday statement. "I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."

McGowan has been a vocal supporter of Argento, especially following the untimely death of Bourdain, when she rushed to her side. McGowan penned a letter calling her a "pillar of strength" and asked for an end to the vicious online attacks against Argento, asking for media and fans not to place the blame for Bourdain's suicide on Argento. 

"I’d like to think he would want us to have the collective conversation that needs to be had about depression. Blame is NOT a conversation, it is the shutting down of our collective growth," she wrote at the time.

Argento also appeared on McGowan's reality series Citizen Rose to discuss her own stories of sexual assault. McGowan is also seen on the show walking out of a women's support group in Rome, where an Italian woman questions what she got out of her relationship with Weinstein.

 

The day we met - March 17th, 2003 @rosemcgowan ... with @bigbaldhead

A post shared by asiaargento (@asiaargento) on

Aug. 20, 7:30 a.m.: Updated with additional McGowan, Arquette tweets.
Aug. 22, 9 a.m. Updated with Argento denial; McGowan and Arquette deleted and new tweets.