One week after saying saying her “heart is broken” following a sexual assault allegation against Asia Argento, Rose McGowan revealed in a lengthy statement that she was aware of the accusations nearly two days before they hit the media.
"I would first of all like to start off this statement saying thank you for your patience," McGowan, 44, said.
"A lot of people have been demanding answers and a response to the recent events surrounding Asia Argento’s sexual assault case. Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not."
The actress went on to share how she met Argento, who was at the center of a New York Times bombshell report earlier this month. Argento was accused by child star Jimmy Bennett of setting up a sexual encounter with him in California in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37. The legal age of consent in California is 18.
"I first met Asia on a red carpet, but it’s only been the past year through our shared experience of the HW case that we have bonded," McGowan said, referring to disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
She continued: "Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t. We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices. We even got matching dot tattoos! Something I had posted on my IG just about a month ago.
"It’s no secret to anyone that Im a blunt, candid, brazen individual vocally- and I think that’s what I really related to Asia the most with. They were edgy, confrontational, and strong willed with very little care about how much other’s liked or disliked them. Rare things to find in women in this industry or the world."
However, McGowan noted, "then everything changed."
"In an instant," she recalled. "I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating- Rain Dove. They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet," McGowan claimed. "Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message 'Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.'
"There were a few other details revealed as well that I am not at liberty to mention in this statement as investigators do their job," she added.
Reps for Argento and Dove did not immediately respond to Fox News' requests for comment.
According to McGowan, Dove explained that "they were going to go to the police with these texts" once the two were finished talking, "no matter what."
However, the person wanted McGowan "to be aware of them."
"So that I may be able to take further actions," she shared, adding that she responded with: "'You have to. You must.'"
"I wasted no time," McGowan said. "It wasn’t hard to say or support. What was hard was the shell shock of the realisation that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy. An hour after our conversation was finished Rain Dove confirmed that they had turned over the texts and were in conversation with officers. Almost 48 hours later the texts were in the press."
McGowan also explained how Argento and Dove, a model and actor, knew each other, explaining that she had introduced them to each other shortly after Argento's boyfriend Anthony Bourdain died.
"I was with Asia to comfort and support her," McGowan shared.
"Rain Dove came to support us both. It was an emotionally chaotic time and Rain Dove suggested we go to Berlin for a couple days to take the mourning out of Asia’s home and into a neutral space. So we did."
According to the star, during their time in Berlin, "Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image. No one in the room knew who the extortionist was."
"Now we know it to be a reference to this case," said McGowan, who went on to say that Dove and Argento continued to communicate "occasionally" and "their conversations have been their own."
"I know Rain is a person to whom many high profile entities consult when they are experiencing social pressures because Rain is good at guiding them through the research confrontation, rehabilitation, and solution process," McGowan said. "While they are a person who is good at keeping a secret for those dedicated to making things right- they are also justice driven. So it was not a surprise to me that I received that call and the messages from them."
McGowan also explained how she's previously referred to Argento as her "Ride or Die" and "said very clearly that their friendship comes first," so she knew that going to her "with those messages must have been hard for Rain."
"So I commend them for their bravery," she said.
"To the people who have checked in with me to see if I’m alright- the answer is thank you and Yes," McGowan shared, noting that she'll "be fine."
"Its sad to lose a friend connection, but whats even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennet," she continued. "Whether or not the extortion case is true- it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. It is the type of thing I fight against alongside so many."
As to why McGowan didn't give a statement before? The actress says it's "because I’ve frankly been extremely humbled by this event."
"I had to take a step back and realise that in my own activism while I fight hard with passion- I need to evolve," she explained. "In the past I have been occasionally angry. As a victim I was justified in fiery feelings. But I know that those accused are the friends, parents, and family members of other people.
"There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault. Hard stop. NONE," McGowan emphasized. "Victims also shouldn’t be told how they should react or what they should say about their abusers. However as allies to the victim and voyeurs of an event we should find a better way to balance support of the victim with due process for the accused. I’ve never claimed to be perfect. This week especially has made me come to terms with the fact that we all have a lot of growing to do, including myself."
The actress went on to state that even though "at this current moment it may be easy to focus on the drama of the situation," she believed "the real focus should be on supporting justice."
"Supporting honesty. And supporting each other," she continued. "We can not let this moment break the momentum of a movement that has freed so many people. We must use it to allow us to become stronger. More compassionate. More aware. And More organised."
McGowan concluded her statement with a message to Argento. "Asia you were my friend," she wrote. "I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment.
"Anyone can be be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been."
Last week, Bennett, now 22, broke his silence in a statement obtained by Deadline, saying: "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."
On August 19, The New York Times reported, citing court documents, that Argento paid roughly $380,000 to Bennett after he confronted her regarding an alleged sexual encounter that took place in 2013 in a California hotel room.
In the documents, Bennett sought to sue Argento for the alleged encounter at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, Calif. At that time, Bennett allegedly showed him notes she had previously written to him and gave him alcohol. She then reportedly kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, performed oral sex on him and then the two had intercourse.
Argento, now 42, has denied the accusations saying in a statement given to reporter Yashar Ali last week: "I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news.
"I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."
The celebrity gossip site reported that the photo of Argento and Bennett – in which they both appeared topless – was taken in a hotel room back in 2013. Citing "sources," TMZ reported that the photo was taken after "intercourse."
TMZ also published text messages reportedly "between Argento and one of her friends" last week in which a person the site claimed was Argento admitted to having sex with a minor. It was unclear how TMZ obtained the photo and alleged conversation.