Asia Argento: 17-Year-Old Jimmy Bennett Sexually Assaulted Me
Asia Argento says Jimmy Bennett -- who had sex with her when he was 17 years old -- is lucky she didn't file charges that HE sexually assaulted and then extorted her.
Argento's lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, tells TMZ, his client's text messages that TMZ posted tell the real story about what went down at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, CA. The text in question read, "The horny kid jumped me ... I had sex with him it felt weird." She goes on to say she was "frozen" when he was on top of her.
Heller says, "Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her."
As for her statement after the story broke -- "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett" -- Heller says she was being honest because it was a one-time only encounter and not a relationship.
Heller goes on to claim Bennett smelled a payday and tried to extort Argento, especially when he found out she was dating Anthony Bourdain. He says Bennett "chose to intrude on that relationship and demand financial payment from Bourdain in consideration for not embarrassing Asia and indirectly Bourdain ..."
Heller says Anthony chose to protect Asia by agreeing to pay $380k even though she did nothing wrong.
And, Heller says, Bourdain paid $250k up to this point, but Argento will not pay the balance.
Heller ends by attacking Bennett, saying, "Asia does not intend to prosecute Bennett for his conduct and recognizes that his unfortunate past, his stalled acting career, and a lawsuit against his own parents for allegedly misappropriating more than a million and a half dollars from his account might explain his desperation to seek money from Asia and Bourdain for this falsely alleged incident that took place more than 5 years ago."
The attack against Bennett is odd ... because Argento has spoken out against shaming alleged victims in sexual assault cases.
Bennett claims he was indeed sexually assaulted by Argento.
Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Will File Sexual Assault Police Report
Asia Argento has just poked the bear, because we've learned Jimmy Bennett -- who was 17 when he had sex with her -- is going to the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. to file a sexual assault claim against her and cooperate with the investigation.
Bennett, who is now 22, has been on the fence as to whether he'd cooperate with authorities, but he's now decided to go full steam ahead.
We're told Bennett's tipping point was the statement Argento's lawyer released Tuesday, attacking his character. Her lawyer, Mark Heller, talked about Bennett's "unfortunate past, stalled acting career ... his desperation to seek money." Heller also referenced that Bennett had been a drug user.
Bennett's lawyer, Gordon Sattro, tells TMZ, "the attack on my client's character has no bearing on the events that took place on May 9, 2013. These are statements that are meant to intimidate, shame and insult my client."
Argento, who has accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, has been vocal in the #MeToo movement about shaming alleged victims of sexual assault ... something her lawyer did in a big way with Bennett.
Argento's lawyer claims Bennett was "a horny kid" who jumped her in the hotel room. She says she did have sex with him but implies it was not consensual because she was "frozen."
This photo was taken after the sexual encounter in the hotel room. Bennett's people say it flies in the face of Argento's claim she was not a willing participant. (Photo Included)
And, they point out this photo which Argento, who was 37 when they had sex, posted in the hotel room before Bennett arrived. The caption reads, "Waiting for my long lost son My love @Jimmy Bennett in trepidation." (Photo Included)
The maximum penalty for statutory rape in California in a case involving a 17-year-old is 3 years in prison.
Attorney Heller tells TMZ, "Asia encourages anybody, including Bennett, to come forward with any allegation concerning a sexual assault, and she is prepared to take any and all steps necessary to continues to protect her reputation and defend against any false allegations."
"These are statements that are meant to INTIMIDATE, SHAME and INSULT my client." This is every pedophile's dream. To Shame the Victim.