Asia Argento Accuser Feared “Stigma” of Coming Forward As a Male Victim

Jimmy Bennett. Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

The accuser of prominent #MeToo activist Asia Argento has released a statement to the New York Times, following reports that the actress had sexually assaulted him when he was 17. Jimmy Bennett had previously remained silent as details of the incident and payments made to him totaling $380,000 by Argento came to light. However, Wednesday the actor and musician spoke out about his arrangement with Argento, explaining that he “ tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time,” and that he feared the “stigma” of coming forward as a male victim. Read his full statement below:

Many brave women and men have spoken out about their own experiences during the #metoo movement, and I appreciate the bravery that it took for each and every one of them to take such a stand. I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative. I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy. I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence. -Jimmy Bennett

Asia Argento Accuser Feared “Stigma” of Being a Male Victim