Asia Argento's Episodes on Parts Unknown No Longer Streaming After She's Accused of Sexual Assault
Asia Argento was accused by Jimmy Bennett of having sexual relations with him when he was underage
“In light of the recent news reports about Asia Argento, CNN will discontinue airing past episodes of Parts Unknown that included her, until further notice,” a CNN spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
Argento, 42, appeared in the Rome and Southern Italy episodes of the show and directed a Hong Kong episode, during which Bourdain said, “To fall in love with Asia is one thing. To fall in love in Asia is another. Both have happened to me.”
A Buenos Aires episode, which did not feature Argento, was also removed from CNN Go for unspecified reasons, according to BuzzFeed News which was first to report.
Argento denied the allegation. “I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article,” she wrote in a statement to journalist Yashar Ali. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
Argento stated that Bourdain, her late boyfriend, paid off Bennett when he “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me” after she accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
“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.”
Bennett explained in a statement, released to PEOPLE by his lawyer Gordon K. Sattro, why he did not speak publicly after the alleged incident happened in 2013.
“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 said. “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”