Asia Argento secretly paid off a younger male co-star who accused her of sexually assaulting him shortly after she went public with her own sexual assault allegations, according to multiple reports.
The actress is one of the most prominent participants of the #MeToo movement, and famously accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her when she was 21.
- Uma Thurman seethes when asked about Harvey Weinstein
- Meryl Streep condemms 'disgraceful' Weinstein revelations
The New York Times reports that it's viewed the legal documents of the case in which she is accused, which resulted in her paying her accused US$380,000.
Argento was aged 37 when the alleged incident took place in 2013, while her accuser Jimmy Bennett was aged 17. In California, where the sexual assault is said to have taken place, the legal age of consent is 18.
Argento and Bennett worked together on the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which she also wrote and directed. He was aged seven at the time, and played Argento's son, a character who is sexually assaulted by a boyfriend of her character.
The pair appear to have publicly communicated with each other on Twitter up until August 2012, and Instagram until May 2013.
Bennett's account of the 2013 incident, outlined in the New York Times article, claims the pair met at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, originally with a family member chaperoning him whom she managed to send away.
He claims she then gave him alcohol, handed him love letters and kissed him, then "pushed him back on the bed" and performed oral sex.
"[Then] she climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the [legal] document says," reports the New York Times.
Later, she asked to take photos with him. Pictures of the pair semi-clothed in bed, as well as an Instagram post of their faces taken on that day, were reportedly included in the notice of intent to sue.
Bennett's lawyers claimed the sexual assault was so traumatic that it affected his mental health and hindered his acting career.
Argento, daughter of the acclaimed horror filmmaker Dario Argento, was recently dating celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain until his suicide in June.