Asia Argento Dropped from X Factor Italy After Sexual Assault Allegations: Reports
Asia Argento has been dropped as a judge on the latest season of X Factor Italy after facing sexual assault allegations earlier this month, multiple outlets reported
Asia Argento has been dropped as a judge on the latest season of X Factor Italy after facing sexual assault allegations earlier this month, multiple outlets have reported.
The Italian actress and singer, 42, will still appear in the first seven episodes of the show which covered the auditions, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Argento will then be replaced by a new judge when the show starts airing live on Oct. 25. The show starts airing on Sept. 6.
Allegations of sexual assault against Argento were first brought to light by a report in the New York Times, which claimed former child actor Jimmy Bennett had accused the actress of assault last fall in a letter sent to Argento and her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. Bennett alleged that Argento kissed him before performing oral sex on him and engaging in intercourse at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, California when he was 17, according to the Times.
In a statement released days after the report, Argento denied having any sexual relationship with Bennett.
“I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article,” she said 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.”
Instead, Agento said the two only had a friendship which ended last fall when Bennett “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me” following her public accusation of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. The actress said Bennett reached out knowing her boyfriend Bourdain, who died by suicide in June at 61, was “a man of great perceived wealth” and the late chef decided to handle the matter quietly.
“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.”
WATCH: Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Breaks Silence on Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘I Was Ashamed’
Days later, Bennett released his own statement, breaking his silence on the allegations.
“I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me,” reads the statement, released to PEOPLE on Wednesday by Bennett’s lawyer Gordon K. Sattro. “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.”
Italian papers first reported that Argento had been fired from the show over the weekend. The new judge will be announced Sept. 5 during the X Factor press conference in Milan, per reports.