Weinstein lawyer: Asia Argento’s reported settlement with accuser shows 'stunning level of hypocrisy'

Weinstein lawyer: Asia Argento’s reported settlement with accuser shows 'stunning level of hypocrisy'

The lawyer for disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday slammed actress Asia Argento over a settlement she reportedly made with her own accuser, calling it hypocritical. 

“This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento,” Benjamin Brafman said in a statement to ABC News.

“At the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr. Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr. Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years," Brafman added.

The lawyer's comments come one day after the New York Times reported that Argento had settled for $380,000 with Jimmy Bennett, a young actor who alleged Argento sexually assaulted him when he was under the legal age of consent in the state of California. Argento, one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, became a leader in the #MeToo movement, which was sparked by those allegations.


"The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were actually vetted and accordingly, cause all of us to pause and allow due process to prevail, not condemnation by fundamental dishonesty," Brafman concluded. 

According to the Times, Bennett accused Argento of plying him with alcohol and then sexually assaulting him when he was 17 and she was 37. She then allegedly asked to take photos with Bennett.

He said in his notice of intent to sue that the alleged sexual battery traumatized him to the point that it hampered his work and damaged his mental health. Bennett asked for $3.5 million in damages, citing a drop in his income before and after the event from $2.7 million over the five years to an annual average of $60,000.

In Argento’s suit against Weinstein, the actress alleged that he raped her in 1997, when she was 21, according to the Times.

Another of Weinstein's accusers, Rowan McGowan, tweeted out that her "heart is broken" after the news of Argento's settlement.

"None of us know the truth of the situation and I'm sure more will be revealed. Be gentle," she later tweeted.

ABC News said that neither Argento nor her representatives had commented on the allegations by Bennett.