Do I have to do some kind of exhaustive recap on the Asia Argento mess? I’ll try to do it simply: Asia Argento manipulated Anthony Bourdain into paying off the young man whom she sexually assaulted when he was just 17 years old. I can’t keep track of all of Argento’s explanations and lies, but I feel like that one-sentence summary covers everything. At first, Argento’s good friend (and fellow Harvey Weinstein victim) Rose McGowan told people to “be gentle” when dealing with Argento. Rose later deleted that tweet and now Rose has issued a lengthy and exhausting statement on the matter. Rose wants us to know several things. One, she’s dating someone and she refers to that person as “the being I’ve been dating – Rain Dove.” Two, Rose is backing away from Asia pretty hard. Three, Asia was lying to her friends about Jimmy Bennett a lot, it seems. Four, I guess Rose thought we were “demanding” that she chime in? We weren’t really. Some highlights from her statement (which you can read in full here):
She doesn’t know Asia that well: “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. 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!”
Rain Dove is involved: “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. 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.
Rose always did the right thing, or so she says: “Rain Dove said that they were going to go to the police with these texts once we were done speaking no matter what. But that they wanted me to be aware of them so that I may be able to take further actions. I responded with “You have to. You must.” I wasted no time. 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.
She’s sad about Asia’s victim: “Its sad to lose a friend connection, but whats even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennet. 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. The reason I haven’t released a statement is 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. 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. 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.
A message to Asia: “Asia you were my friend. 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.
I wasn’t shocked by Rose’s simultaneous attempt to make this all about how she’s feeling AND all about how she knew everything weeks and days beforehand. Rose always saw herself as the most important person within the Harvey Weinstein case, the biggest victim and the one who stage-managed his downfall (or whatever). Of course she would cast herself in the lead role in Argento’s drama as well. As for her concerns that “everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy” – not really. Most of us have known for a long time that women can be abusers too. I’m shocked that Rose didn’t claim to have known that before everyone else too.
Official @rosemcgowan statement on @AsiaArgento: "Asia you were my friend. 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." #MeToo pic.twitter.com/U6oQEvmXPC
— Errol Lewis (@ErrolLewis) August 27, 2018
Photos courtesy of WENN.