Asia Argento denied on Tuesday that she had a sexual relationship with a then-underage actor as reported by the The New York Times. According to the report, the Italian actress, best known in America as Anthony Bourdain's girlfriend at the time of his death, as well as one of the earliest Harvey Weinstein accusers, paid off the actor, Jimmy Bennett. Bennett was 17 years old — not old enough to consent legally — at the time of the alleged act.
Today, Argento has come forward to claim the sexual relationship never happened, acknowledging however that the payment was made to the actor by Anthony Bourdain, who died on June 8.
Argento ally, fellow Weinstein accuser, and vocal #MeToo movement leader Rose McGowan responded to the stunning developments on Twitter.
First, she wrote, "I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere."
She followed it up with a message that urged the public to "be gentle" in its assessment of the Argento with respect to the lurid details of the case.
The backlash on Twitter was swift and fierce.
User @MJava86 wrote: "Nope doesn’t work like that. We'll treat this woman, and anyone who backs her the same, as the sexual predators that they are! Ur buddy [Bourdain] gave almost 400k to keep this boy quiet. Why? Bc the victim is not a woman he is somehow less credible? I’m with #metoo I’m not with you or Asia."
User @DezPaws wrote, "Gotta love how #MeToo immediately demands blood when a man is baselessly accused of sexual assault, but is quick to call for civility and evidence whenever a woman is accused. So much for 'Listen and Believe'... This lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy is #WhyImNotAFeminist."
Users accused McGowan of using the movement to advance selfish causes. @t_be2cr8 wrote, "Haven’t you noticed that all the other leaders of the #metoo movement stayed clear from Rose McGowan. From day one RM made it all about her. She wants notoriety for leading this more than supporting the others. She didn’t even start it. Her narcissism detracts from it all."
RikiudeSD agreed, "She's done well for herself and her new book off the back of the movement, but anyone who has looked at her past will be able to see that she's exactly the person she pretends to hate; eager to work with and defend abusers if it means getting paid."
Negative responses to McGowan's tweet continue to flood in on the social media platform.