The #MeToo movement took a drastic turn when one of its staunch advocates, Asia Argento, was accused of sexual assault. According to The New York Times, she reportedly paid 22-year-old actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 to settle his notice of intent to sue. This happened after Jimmy filed a case against Asia for sleeping with him in 2013 when he was only 17, which is considered statutory rape in California.
Since then, revelation upon revelation popped up in the news yet, Asia denied that she had sex with Jimmy. She admitted that her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain paid him to offer financial assistance, not to silence him nor the sexual assault case. This was also despite the fact that there were photographic proofs that they were together in 2013 and that a selfie of them together (which was originally copyrighted to Asia) with unclothed torsos surfaced online. There were also leaked text messages where Asia allegedly admitted to sleeping with Jimmy.
Rose finally spoke up against Asia’s actions saying that she urged Asia to “do the right thing” and be honest about what happened. She also admitted that the aforementioned text messages were real because Asia was talking to Rose’s partner, model Rain Dove, who later turned them over to the police. “An hour after our conversation was finished Rain Dove confirmed that they had turned over the texts and were in conversation with officers. Almost 48 hours later the texts were in the press,” Rose said in her statement.
What struck hard was Rose’s declaration that she’s cutting ties with Asia as support to victims of sexual harassment and assault, including Jimmy Bennett. “Whether or not the extortion case is true—it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault. Hard stop. NONE,” she said. “Asia, you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be be better—I hope you can be, too.”
She ended her statement with: “Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.”
It also doesn’t help that Asia tried to save herself by claiming that Jimmy has allegedly been sending unsolicited nudes since he was 12. Therefore, pinning the blame on him. Still, it doesn’t really disprove any claims of sexual assault and statutory rape.
The #MeToo movement’s foundation is on honesty and justice. It’s not a one-sided thing where an existing advocate will be the only person you’ll listen to. The victims’ voices, regardless of their gender, must be heard. To loosely quote Rose McGowan, we should all believe in justice and the truth above all.