Jimmy Bennett was shamed on an Italian TV show for his sexual assault accusation against Italian actress and singer Asia Argento.
The 22-year-old former actor appeared on news anchor Massimo Gilletti's show Sunday night to speak at length for the first time since his allegations against Argento surfaced in a New York Times report last month. Bennett accused Argento of forcibly kissing him and having sex in a California hotel room in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37. The actress, now 42, denied having a sexual relationship with Bennett.
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On the show, Bennett was questioned about a selfie the two took after the alleged assault, which reportedly shows them in bed topless. Bennett confirms that it was taken after the act on his phone, explaining that Argento wanted them to take it, but Gilletti took issue with the picture.
"I'm sorry, but you don't seem upset, you don't seem in this picture to be traumatized," Gilletti said, as reported by the Daily Beast. "You don't look here like someone who was afraid."
Responding to several jabs against him and his allegations, Bennett eventually spoke up for himself.
"I was worried about coming in front of an audience and being accused of not being sincere about the violence against me," Bennett said. "After this, that's why I chose the silent route. I was right."
Bennett previously spoke out after the allegations first broke through a statement released by his lawyer Gordon K. Sattro, who accompanied him on Gilletti's show Sunday.
"I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me," the statement begins. "My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative. I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public."
In a previous statement, Argento said Bennett reached out following her public accusation of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein last fall knowing her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain was "a man of great perceived wealth." She claimed the late chef then decided to handle the matter quietly and agreed to a settlement of $380,000. Bourdain was found dead by suicide in June at age 61.
"Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett's demand for help and gave it to him," she said. "Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life."