Asia Argento Accused of ‘Victim-Shaming’ by Jimmy Bennett After She Denies Sexual Assault Claims

Asia Argento is being slammed by her accuser’s lawyer for her “victim-shaming” statement in which she revealed her intention not to pay the rest of the settlement they agreed upon.

Jimmy Bennett accused Argento of sexual assault stemming from a 2013 incident in a hotel room in California when he was 17 and the actress was 37. Argento, now 42, denied the allegation and instead accused Bennett, now 22, of attacking her and “initiating” the sexual contact in a statement released earlier this week by her new lawyer, Mark Jay Heller.

Bennett’s lawyer Gordon K. Sattro released a statement to PEOPLE in response. Argento’s lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“This situation has escalated due to Asia’s offensive and dismissive interpretation of this situation in whole…We read this statement as a self-serving and slanderous one which is offensive, not only to my client, but in all likelihood to victims both silent and outspoken, everywhere,” the statement read. “It would seem that Asia is implying that her truth is the actual truth because of her perceived position in this all too important movement and a delusional view of her own importance to it.”

RELATED VIDEO: Anthony Bourdain Was So ‘Lovestruck’ with Asia Argento His Friends Were Concerned

The statement continued, “It should be made clear that Asia’s attacks on my client’s character have no bearing on the events that took place on May 9, 2013, and the statements in her most recent letter are seemingly crafted with the intent to intimidate, shame, and insult our client back into silence. This is a familiar tactic which has been criticized by the #MeToo movement repeatedly over the past year. In Hollywood, the one thing that has never and will never be condoned, or tolerated, is the abuse of child actors.”

RELATED: Asia Argento Dropped from X Factor Italy After Sexual Assault Allegations: Reports

In her statement, Argento’s lawyer announced “phase two” of the #MeToo movement where victims who have a “negative history” can still feel empowered to come forward.

In response, Bennett’s lawyer said, “Representing Asia as launching Phase Two of the #MeToo movement…while victim-shaming my client in the same statement is ludicrous in the highest regard. Asia has yet to realize that successful women can also be among those who prey on the vulnerable. Predators are not limited to a single sex.”

RELATED VIDEO: Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Breaks Silence on Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘I Was Ashamed’

His lawyer also expressed their intention to seek the rest of the $ 380,000 settlement that had not been paid. Argento’s lawyer announced in her statement that they didn’t intend to pay the rest of the settlement, which was agreed upon when her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain was alive.

“With the above in mind, we have decided that we are going to secure the balance of funds due under the legally enforceable agreement between Jimmy and Asia and we will be cooperating with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department,” Bennett’s lawyer said. “Upon securing the outstanding funds owed, Jimmy will be donating the entirety of it to the #MeToo movement.”

According to a report by The New York TimesArgento 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.)

RELATED VIDEO: Rose McGowan Mourns the Loss of Friend Anthony Bourdain in Teary Video: ‘I’m So Mad at You’

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. Argento denied the allegations, saying she had never had a sexual relationship with the former young actor.

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.”

Fashion Deals Update:

Canali Denies Sale Rumors

MILAN — Italian men’s wear company Canali SpA denied on Saturday it was negotiating to sell shares in the company.
The fashion house responded to a rumor reported on Saturday by Italy’s daily paper La Repubblica. According to the article, the third generation of the family-run business has charged Goldman Sachs with the task of testing the interest of potential investors.
In its report, La Repubblica also stated the French private equity firm Chequers Capital and Andrea C. Bonomi‘s Investindustrial investment house were eyeing the Italian company.
Recently, Bonomi has said he is targeting fashion brands and design companies to add to his firm’s portfolio, which includes the full control of the Sergio Rossi firm — acquired from Kering in 2015 — in addition to stakes in Aston Martin, Perfume Holding, B&B Italia and luxury lighting firm Flos, among others.
In October, Canali began the dismissal procedure of 134 of its employees, all working in the brand’s factory in Carate Brianza, a one-hour drive from Milan. Dedicated to the manufacturing of jackets, the plant is one of the company’s seven production centers.
At the time Canali confirmed the staff reduction was due to the market’s contraction, while trade unions and employees reacted to the decision by protesting with a

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Matthew Weiner Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations But Says on ‘Mad Men’ He was ‘Angry a Lot of the Time’

“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner is denying the sexual harassment allegations made against him by writer Kater Gordon who worked for him on the AMC series. While appearing at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday to promote his new book “Heather: The Totality,” Weiner sat down with fellow television writer and producer Jenji […]



Luann D’Agostino ‘Definitely’ Does Not Think Tom Cheated on Her and Denies That Ex-Boyfriend Jacques Led to Split

Luann D’Agostino and Tom D’Agostino, Jr.’s marriage may have began in the wake of a cheating scandal, but the Real Housewives of New York City star insists her soon-to-be ex-husband was faithful to her during their seven months wed.

“I do not think Tom cheated on me, definitely not,” Luann, 52, told Page Six on Friday of the reasons for their divorce. “God knows he’s got himself in some trouble in the past, but I don’t believe that continued .”

”It was impossible, we were having problems and we tried really hard to fix things, and we finally came to the conclusion it was just not going to work,” she continued. “It was a tough decision and we are both very sad about it. But the truth is we just weren’t getting along.”

The couple, who wed in a Palm Beach ceremony on New Year’s Eve, both filed for divorce on Thursday, Page Six reported, with Luann making the announcement of their separation on Twitter.

“It’s with great sadness that Tom & I agreed to divorce,” the former countess wrote. “We care for each other very much, hope you respect our privacy during this sad time!”

Hours after sending the tweet, the 53-year-old reality star was spotted out in Sag Harbor, New York, without her wedding ring — wearing a yellow sundress, matching sandals, black shades and carrying a brown purse.

RELATED VIDEO: Highlights of Luann de Lesseps & Tom D’Agostino Jr.’s Wedding

Insisting nobody else was involved in their split, Luann also shot down rumors that her friendship with ex-boyfriend Jacques Azoulay — whom she dated for four years before splitting from in 2013 — prompted Tom to file for divorce, jealous that Azoulay staying at Luann’s Sag Harbor home.

“Jacques has a girlfriend and he’s staying in a hotel, we’re friends, he’s not staying at my house. There’s no truth to the story of Jacques and me,” Luann told Page Six. “God knows I’ve been going through enough recently, I don’t understand why this false rumor is coming at me.”

Azoulay has remained on good terms with Luann  — even attending her wedding to Tom with his girlfriend, Missy Hargraves. He too shot down rumors of a romantic reunion with Luann.

“I just arrived right now in the Hamptons and I am not staying at her house,” he said. “Luann and I are very good friends, and only friends. I actually really like Tom, he’s a nice guy, I regret it didn’t work between them.”

On Friday, Luann gave gratitude to her fans for the love they’ve given her in the wake of the divorce announcement. “Thank you for the generous expression of warmth, kindness and understanding,” Luann tweeted. “Your support and encouragement helps me to get through.”

Her tweet came with another noticeable and unspoken statement: the reality star’s Twitter display name was now changed back to the name she had before marrying Tom — de Lesseps.

The Real Housewives of New York City finale airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Fashion Deals Update:

AMC Theaters Denies Wanda Funding, Says All Acquisitions Completed

AMC Entertainment has denied recent reports that funding from China’s Wanda had been used for any of its recent acquisitions. The U.S. theaters group also said that all four of its recent deals to buy Starplex Cinemas, Odeon & UCI, Carmike Cinemas and Nordic Cinema Group, have been completed. AMC Entertainment was acquired by Dalian… Read more »



Givenchy Denies Approaching Virgil Abloh for Design Post

PARIS — All bets are off again regarding Riccardo Tisci’s potential successor at Givenchy.
The French fashion house on Friday denied mounting speculation that it had held talks with Off-White designer Virgil Abloh to take over as creative director of the brand.
“Givenchy’s new creative organization will be communicated shortly. Mr Abloh was not approached by the house and is not to join the organization,” Givenchy said in a statement to WWD.
Market sources reported earlier this week that the French fashion house held discussions with Abloh, who is also Kanye West’s creative director. Contacted by WWD, Abloh declined to comment on Givenchy specifically, but reiterated his previously stated aim of eventually taking the reins of a leading luxury house.
Since Givenchy confirmed last week that Tisci was leaving after 12 years at the helm, rumors have swirled about who could replace him. Tisci is reportedly headed to Versace, and Givenchy has so far declined to comment on potential candidates.
Tisci’s exit is the latest tremor as creative upheaval spreads through the top ranks of international fashion.
Over the past year, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Marni, Lanvin, Chloé, Jil Sander, Ermenegildo Zegna, Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Carven have all made

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NFL denies Josh Gordon’s reinstatement application (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon (12) stretches before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL has denied suspended receiver Gordons application for reinstatement. A league spokesman confirmed Tuesday, April 12, that the application was denied and that Gordon can apply again at a future date. The decision puts Gordons participation for the 2016 season in doubt. He was suspended for all of 2015 for testing positive for alcohol. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

The NFL has denied suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s application for reinstatement. A league spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the application was denied and that Gordon can apply again at a future date. The decision puts Gordon’s participation for the 2016 season in doubt.

Yahoo Sports – Top News


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Nick Jonas Denies Dating Kendall Jenner

Nick Jonas and Kendall Jenner’s relationship has officially been downgraded from taking it “very slowly” to a figment of our imaginations. 

Earlier this month, sources told Us Weekly that the 19-year-old model began dating the 22-year-old singer after she was introduced to him by mutual pal Gigi Hadid, who is dating Jonas’ brother Joe. And just this week, sources told E! News that the pair were keeping things “pretty light as of now.”

Awww, cute, but that’s a not how Jonas sees it. In a story published Friday, he told E! News, “We’re not dating,” 

He added, “Kendall is great and naturally with her being good friends with Gigi and with Joe and Gigi dating, there are times we’ll be in the same place and we all hang out.” 

As for Jenner, she’s been way too busy soaking up the sun in St Barts to clear up dating rumors: 

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Style – The Huffington Post
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Amy Schumer Denies She Has A ‘Blind Spot’ About Race On Twitter

Amy Schumer took to Twitter Sunday morning to defend the way she treats race in her comedy.

“I am a comic,” Schumer wrote. “I will joke about things you like and I will joke about things you aren’t comfortable with.”

The post appears to be a response to a Guardian article published early Sunday morning that said Schumer has “a shockingly large blind spot around race” despite her large body of feminist work.

From The Guardian:

“Schumer’s stand-up repeatedly delves into racial territory tactlessly and with no apparent larger point. Her standup special features jokes like “Nothing works 100% of the time, except Mexicans” and much of her character’s dumb slut persona is predicated on the fact that the men she sleeps with are people of colour. “I used to date Latino guys,” she says in an older stand-up routine. “Now I prefer consensual.”

Schumer’s response didn’t mention the Guardian article directly, but said: “You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy’ but you are wrong.”

The Guardian isn’t the first to take issue with the way the comic approaches race. A Daily Dot article published last week made similar claims. Schumer also drew criticism for a joke she made about “Gone Girl” and Latinas while hosting the 2015 MTV Movie Awards in April.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Miley Cyrus Denies Drug Overdose Put Her In The Hospital

With Miley Cyrus about to restart her Bangerz tour on May 6, she’s speaking out against rumors that it was a drug overdose that put her in the hospital, forcing her to cancel several shows.

“I’m the poster child for good health,” the 21-year-old said at a press conference at the O2 arena in London on Tuesday. “You have no idea how ready I am. There is nothing I would rather not do than lay in a bed for two weeks. It was the most miserable two weeks of my life.”

Cyrus has repeatedly vocalized how “devastated” she was to cancel shows, and took the opportunity to clear the air amid rumors as to what really sent her to the hospital on April 15.

“I didn’t have a drug overdose. I took some shitty antibiotics that a doctor gave me for a sinus infection and I had a reaction,” Cyrus told the press.

The “We Can’t Stop” singer said she’s now feeling “better than ever,” and that the experience taught her a lot about taking care of herself.

“I’m probably the only one on this tour who doesn’t drink or smoke before a show, as I take this really seriously,” Cyrus said. “It’s almost like being an athlete being up here, because if someone was f–ked up, they definitely couldn’t do my show.”

Cyrus previously opened up about her hospitalization telling Ryan Seacrest, “It was so scary … I had basically been poisoning myself with something I didn’t know I was really scary allergic to. I was on this medicine for five days and everything was all good and on the sixth day, I just woke up … I couldn’t breath and my skin — everything — was going insane.”
Style – The Huffington Post
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Germany Denies Jewish Heirs While Cologne Returns Art

BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it won’t return two paintings once owned by a Jewish businessman who fled the Nazis, even as the western city of Cologne agreed to hand back almost a dozen other valuable drawings to heirs in two separate cases.

The contrasting decisions were both announced Wednesday. They illustrate the considerable legal leeway that German officials have when it comes to deciding on claims by the descendants of Jewish collectors persecuted by Adolf Hitler’s regime, as they struggle to find a solution for the vast trove of art discovered in a Munich apartment. The Finance Ministry said its refusal to cede two works by 18th-century painter Bernardo Bellotto to the grandchildren of deceased businessman Max Emden was due to the fact that the Jewish collector had managed to take them with him when he emigrated from Germany in 1933 — the year Hitler came to power.

“Both the seller (Emden) and the paintings were in Switzerland at the time of the sale,” the ministry said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. This, it said, meant the paintings couldn’t be considered “looted art” or lost in some other way as a result of Nazi persecution.

Emden’s heirs maintain that their grandfather sold the paintings because he needed money after his businesses in Germany were seized by the Nazis.

“The Zwinger Moat in Dresden” is currently on exhibit at the city’s Museum for Military History, while a panorama that Bellotto painted of Vienna is in storage at the Kunstpalast museum in Duesseldorf.

The federal government’s decision was published within hours of an announcement by the city of Cologne, saying it would return 11 avant-garde and modernist drawings to the heirs of Jewish collectors who sold them before or shortly after fleeing Nazi Germany.

City counselors voted late Tuesday to hand six drawings by Karl Hofer, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Ernst Barlach, Aristide Maillol and Wilhelm Morgner to the heirs of Jewish collector Alfred Flechtheim, who fled to France in 1933.

It also returned five drawings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Georges Kars to the heirs of Curt Glaser, another Jewish collector who emigrated in 1933.

Both sets ended up in Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, which has reached an agreement with the new owners to continue exhibiting the drawings.

A spokeswoman for the city of Cologne, Inge Schuermann, said in each case negotiations with the heirs had been marked by “respect and fairness.”

Last month’s revelation that an octogenarian recluse in Munich had for decades hoarded hundreds of valuable works by artists such as Max Liebermann, Otto Dix and Marc Chagall in his Munich apartment has once again put a spotlight on the issue of Nazi-looted art in Germany.

Authorities stumbled across the art almost by chance in 2012, but kept the find secret until it was publicized last month by the German magazine Focus.

The German government subsequently came under intense pressure from Jewish groups to expedite its probe into the case and honor legitimate claims to the works. But progress has been partly hindered by legal difficulties, including a 30-year-statute of limitations.

Officials have said they are examining all options, including appealing to the art’s current owner, Cornelius Gurlitt, to show goodwill toward the heirs.

“All possibilities are being discussed with Mr. Gurlitt,” said Hagen Philipp Wolf, a spokesman for the federal government’s culture office. “This naturally includes the option of handing the works to the state.”

If this were to occur, the heirs of former owners would have to hope the German government takes a more favorable view of their claims than it did to those of the Emden family.

“There’s been zero goodwill by the German government,” Emden’s grandson Juan-Carlos said in an interview from his home in Chile.

His lawyer, Mel Urbach, told the AP last month that he hoped the German government would agree to let the case go before a special expert commission appointed to deal with such disputes.

In its statement Wednesday, the Finance Ministry made clear this wasn’t an option.


Frank Jordans can be reached at
Arts – The Huffington Post
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