TMZ published a photo and text messages on Wednesday that appeared to contradict actress Asia Argento's claim that nothing sexual happened between she and Jimmy Bennett when he was 17.
The celebrity gossip site reported that the photo of Argento and Bennett – in which they both appear topless – was taken in a hotel room back in 2013. Citing “sources,” TMZ reported that the photo was taken after “intercourse.”
Argento issued a statement on Tuesday that she “never had any sexual relationship with Bennett." Argento – one of the first prominent women to accuse disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault – went on to say she was linked to Bennett by “friendship only” which ended when he made “an exorbitant request of money” amid financial problems. She blamed her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain for paying off her accuser despite denying allegations.
However, TMZ also published text messages reportedly “between Argento and one of her friends” this week in which a person the site claims is Argento admits to having sex with a minor. In is unclear how TMZ obtained the photo and alleged conversation.
“I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter,” the text message read. “The public knows nothing, only what the NYT wrote. Which is one sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me.”
The New York Times Sunday bombshell report that Argento was accused by child star Bennett of setting up a sexual encounter with him in California when he was 17 – below the age of consent in that state – and she was 37.
TMZ included a note the site reported was written by Bennett.
"Asia, I love you with all my heart,” the note said.
A text message along side the note read: “He wrote me this afterwards and kept sending me unsolicited nudes all these years up until 2 weeks before the attorneys letter.”
The alleged conversation between Argento and a friend ends with the actress saying she “wasn’t raped” but felt “frozen.”
Argento’s lawyer and rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.