Asia Argento's Lawyer Says Sexual Assault Accuser 'Attacked' Her: He 'Initiated' It
Asia Argento's new attorney has released a lengthy statement claiming her accuser Jimmy Bennett attacked her during the incident in question
Her new attorney Mark Jay Heller tells PEOPLE that Bennett, now 22, was the one to initiate the sexual contact between the two in 2013 when Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37.
“She was literally attacked by him, he literally jumped on her and he said, ‘You’ve been my sexual fantasy for all these years since I’m 12 years old.’ And she was really in a state of shock — she was frozen, as she said. I think that now all of that has gained clarity.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Heller says Argento, now 42, was “completely accurate” when she said in a previous statement that she had never had a sexual relationship with Bennett. However, her initial version of events was thrown into question when TMZ published texts in which Argento allegedly admits to having sex with Bennett at the time.
Heller tells PEOPLE Argento is now “very pleased” to clarify the misinterpretation of her statement when she said there was no “relationship.”
“I don’t think they really put an emphasis on the word relationship. She had no sexual relationship with him, he was an acquaintance and a friend over many years,” Heller says. “And that would appear to counter with the texts in these statements, but in the texts she clearly said, ‘This horny kid jumped me’ and ‘it was weird and we had sex.’ It would give the impression that it was initiated by her. Well it wasn’t, it was initiated by him.”
WATCH: Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Breaks Silence on Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘I Was Ashamed’
Argento’s lawyer also says the actress will no longer continue paying Bennett the $380,000 settlement that she claims her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain insisted upon before his death by suicide in June.
“He insisted on this payment and she was very against it but respected his decision,” Heller explains. “But now that he’s unfortunately passed on, she does not intent to promote or permit any further money to be paid to [Bennett].”
According to a report by The New York Times, Argento agreed to pay $380,000 to Bennett, who claimed the actress sexually assaulted him in 2013 in a California hotel room two months after he turned 17. (In California, 18 is the age of consent.)
Bennett claimed in the documents that Argento kissed him before performing oral sex on him and engaging in intercourse at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, California, according to the Times.
In the texts released by TMZ, Argento allegedly denies knowing Bennett was a minor until he contacted her and Bourdain last fall following her public accusations against Harvey Weinstein. She also allegedly says she “felt weird” after the two had sex and pointed out that the legal age of consent is 15 in France and Italy.
“The public knows nothing, only what NYT wrote. Which is one sided,” she allegedly wrote in the text, according to TMZ. “The horny kid jumped me.”