Asia Argento drops out of Le Guess Who? fest after sexual assault allegations
Asia Argento has withdrawn from her involvement as one of the curators of the 2018 Le Guess Who? festival in the Netherlands after the NY Times surfaced documents alleging she secretly paid off actor Jimmy Bennett after he accused her of sexually assaulting him. Le Guess Who? issued this statement:
Due to the volatile nature of the accusations surrounding Ms. Argento, she has chosen to withdraw from her curatorship of this year’s edition, while these issues remain open. Le Guess Who? supports her decision, as we consider it our responsibility to represent, to the best of our ability, the interests and integrity of all artists involved with our organization, and we strive to do this with sensitivity and respect.
Le Guess Who? still supports all curated artists and their artistic output, and intends to keep all these artists involved within the general program for the 2018 edition.
While Argento has withdrawn as a curator, the events she curated — including Ian Svenonius’ Escape-ism, actress/singer/activist Rose McGowan, and Future Feminism (Kembra Pfahler, Johanna Constantine) — are still on the lineup. The 2018 Le Guess Who? Festival happens November 8-11 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Jimmy Bennett claims Argento sexually assaulted him in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37. Argento, one of the leading figures in the #MeToo movement since her own accusations against Harvey Weinstein, has denied being in a sexual relationship with Bennett but allegedly agreed to pay the actor $380,000 in a settlement. Today, TMZ published a text message exchange they say is between Argento and a friend, where she allegedly admits to the sexual encounter. They published a selfie of Argento and Bennett, supposedly from the encounter, as well. Asia’s boyfriend Anthony Bourdain allegedly helped her with lawyers, money and a private investigator.
Rose McGowan, meanwhile, clarified her relationship with Asia after the NY Times broke the story.
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.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) August 20, 2018
She followed that with a since-deleted tweet that looked like she was defending her friend. That not-surprisingly caused a huge backlash against Rose whose stance is usually tougher on #MeToo issues. Rose has since tweeted again:
Oh for fuck’s sake I’m not defending
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) August 21, 2018