MeToo actress’ bitter war escalates
ASIA Argento, on Monday, demanded that Rose McGowan retract a statement alleging that Argento sexually assaulted actor Jimmy Bennett.
In the original statement, McGowan, 45, claimed that her partner, Rain Dove, told her that Argento admitted to having sex with Bennett when he was 17 years old, reports the New York Post.
"Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th," Argento, 42, tweeted to McGowan.
"If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action," she warned.
On August 27, McGowan - who had become close friends with Argento since they both accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting them - said that Dove told her that Argento had said in text messages that she had had sex with her young co-star.
McGowan last month said she encouraged Dove to turn the texts over to police, and wrote, "What was hard was the shell shock of the realisation that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy."
In the statement, McGowan also called on Argento to come clean about her alleged behaviour.
"Asia you were my friend … Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been," she wrote.
The New York Times reported earlier that Argento had paid Bennett $US380,000 ($A530,000) to keep mum about her allegedly sexually assaulting him in a California hotel five years ago.
Argento staunchly denied the allegation she slept with the teen and said her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain had coughed up the cash, fearing negative press.
But text messages published by TMZ, which Dove said they released to the police, allegedly show the actress admitting to the assault. In the messages, she also allegedly claims it was the teen who "jumped" her.
"When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty," Dove said.
According to TMZ, Bennett is preparing to file a police report in Los Angeles.