Actress Asia Argento raises her fist on stage during the Cannes closing ceremony. Picture: Vianney Le Caer
Actress Asia Argento raises her fist on stage during the Cannes closing ceremony. Picture: Vianney Le Caer

Asia breaks silence over Bourdain's suicide

ASIA Argento will speak for the first time since her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain's suicide in a French hotel room in June in an exclusive DailyMailTV interview.

Argento, 43, reveals how she first felt "anger" that Bourdain had "abandoned" her and her two children but, breaking down in tears, she says in the video that she has been left with "this loss, this hole that cannot be filled by anything."

Argento says that nothing will replace Bourdain, 61, who was her boyfriend of two years.

The Italian actress gave the interview as CNN broadcast the first of the final five episodes of Bourdain's Parts Unknown.

"Now the anger kept me alive, otherwise this desperation has no end," says Argento through tears.

The interview will be broadcast online on Tuesday on DailyMailTV.

Argento's interview also ends a silence which has seen her hit by revelations of sex with former child actor, Jimmy Bennett, who claims he was 17 at the time of an alleged sexual encounter with Argento.

 

Jimmy Bennett appeared on Italian TV and described his underage encounter with Asia Argento. Picture: Supplied
Jimmy Bennett appeared on Italian TV and described his underage encounter with Asia Argento. Picture: Supplied

But Bennett was skewered on Italian TV for saying Argento raped him when he was a teenager, in his first interview since the allegation became public.

"It's hard for me to talk about this in front of strangers and people I don't know, but I do want to get the benefit of the doubt in telling the truth," Bennett, 22, said in his hour-long interview on Non e l'Are an, which translates to "Outside the Arena," with well-known Italian journalist Massimo Giletti on Sunday night, according to the Daily Beast.

The former child actor says Argento plied him with alcohol and sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room when he was 17 and she was 37.

Argento, an outspoken #MeToo advocate who was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, has staunchly denied Bennett's allegation.

But Rose McGowan's partner Rain Dove has produced text messages showing Argento allegedly admitting she and the teen had sex.

When asked to describe the events of that day, Bennett said he showed up to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey to audition for a film but Argento had other ideas. She allegedly gave him champagne and started to kiss him, saying, "Oh my son, how I've missed you."

Bennett had played Argento's son in a 2004 film when he was 7-years-old.

"After the kisses started getting longer and it started with her placing her hands in different ways," he said. "Following that was when she pushed me onto the bed and took my pants off and undid my belt."

But the host of the live program was sceptical. "It's difficult to believe a woman can rape a man, an act of sex that is complete cannot be rape, surely," he said.

The age of consent is 14 in Italy and 18 in California.

"I was worried about coming in front of an audience and being accused of not being sincere about the violence against me," Bennett said. "After this, that's why I chose the silent route. I was right."

 

But the host pressed on, showing a now-viral photo of Argento and Bennett presumably in bed and post-coital.

"She asked me to take a photograph," Bennett said. "Yes, it was on my phone. Yes, it was after we had sex."

"I'm sorry, but you don't seem upset, you don't seem in this picture to be traumatised," the host retorted. "You don't look here like someone who was afraid."

The live studio audience broke into applause and Bennett said he seemed to understand what the situation was.

His lawyer, Gordon Sattro, who was sitting beside him, asked whether the line of questioning would have been different and less abrasive if his client was a woman.

"How can they interpret what was going on in his mind," he said. "Or what was in his heart, just because of his gender?"

 

Argento and Bourdain reportedly agreed to pay Bennett $380,000 in hush money after he apparently threatened to go public with the story.

She's since announced she would no longer honour the agreement.

 

If you are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal feelings contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call triple-0.



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