Rose McGowan has issued an apology to former friend Asia Argento after she assumed accuser Jimmy Bennett had sent her sexually explicit texts at 12

By Alexia Fernández
September 27, 2018 07:00 PM
Credit: Jason Bahr/Getty; ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

Rose McGowan has issued an apology to Asia Argento after alleging the Italian actress had received sexually explicit texts by her sexual assault accuser Jimmy Bennett when he was 12.

McGowan, 45, shared a statement on Twitter Thursday in which she apologized to Argento, 43, for making the assumption.

“On 27 August I released a statement about Asia Argento, which I now realized contained a number of facts that were not correct,” the former Charmed actress wrote. “The most serious of these was that I said that the unsolicited nude text messages Asia received from Jimmy Bennett had been sent since Jimmy was 12 years old.”

“In fact, I had misunderstood the messages that Asia exchanged with my partner Rain Dove, which made clear that Jimmy had sent Asia inappropriate text messages only after they met up again when he was 17 (still legally a minor in California, but notably different from a 12 year old),” McGowan continued, referring to text messages her partner, Dove, had received in which Argento allegedly admitted to sleeping with Bennett.

Bennett did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment and PEOPLE has not confirmed whether he sent inappropriate text messages to Argento, as she allegedly claimed. Argento’s attorney did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

“I do not feel that it is my place to comment further on what happened at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey hotel in May 2013, save to say that I now appreciate that it was not as I thought it was previously,” the actress continued. “In my statement, I challenged why Asia had not acted as I think any responsible adult would if they received sexually explicit messages from a 12 year old, which of course do not apply in the same way as when the situation involves a 17 year old.”

She added, “I deeply regret not correcting my mistake sooner and apologize to Asia for not doing so.”

Argento responded, tweeting, “Although I am grateful to @rosemcgowan for her full apology following her groundless allegations about me, if she had issued it earlier, I may have kept my job on X-Factor and avoided the constant accusations of paedophilia [sic] which I have been subjected to in real-life and online.”

She added in a second tweet, “Now go on, live your life and stop hurting other people, will you Rose? Best wishes.”

McGowan alleged Argento had confessed to Rain Dove, a model, that she had slept with Bennett. She also alleged Argento “had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12.

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Bennett, now 22, previously accused Argento of sexually assaulting him when he was 17 in 2013 in a report by The New York Times.

Argento has denied having any sexual relationship with Bennett.

McGowan also wrote she had introduced Argento to her partner Rain Dove three days after Argento’s boyfriend Anthony Bourdain died in June when she went to “comfort and support her.” Rain Dove eventually released text messages between the two where Argento allegedly discusses having sex with Bennett.

Respective attorneys for Argento and Bennett did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment at the time.

In an interview on Good Morning Britain earlier this month, McGowan claimed Argento had lied to her about Bennett’s sexual assault accusations.

She said she was being extorted,” McGowan said. Asked by Piers Morgan if she felt “betrayed” by her friend, McGowan shifted the attention back to Bennett.

“It doesn’t really matter, my feelings in the face of Jimmy Bennett’s feelings are very insignificant. Personally, it’s been a hard year with a lot of betrayals. These last four years have been betrayals from every side, but this really isn’t about me.”

She continued, “It is a horrible situation, I fundamentally do not understand people that are attracted to young people, of any sexual orientation…But there will be due process. And my heart’s racing, it makes me sick to my stomach, it hurts me deeply. But I believe the good part of it is that we’re realizing boys get hurt too.”

Argento slammed the actress, tweeting earlier this month, “It is a shame @rosemcgowan is not prepared to accept when she is wrong … Rose’s statement continues to make false claims.