The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it is “attempting to reach out” to Asia Argento’s alleged victim who the New York Times reported Sunday was sexually assaulted by the Italian actor-director in L.A. in 2013 when he was 17.
Jimmy Bennett, an actor-musician, was named in the NYT report, which said Argento arranged a deal to pay him $380,000 for the incident that occurred in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Ray. Bennett was 17 at the time, and Argento was 37.
“(LASD) is aware of the media reports naming Asia Argento as being involved in an alleged 2013 incident in an area policed by our Marina Del Rey Station,” the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement today. “To date, the LASD has not located any police report alleging criminal activity within our jurisdiction in relation to this incident.”
It added: “After becoming aware of the allegations, the LASD’s Special Victims Bureau is attempting to reach out to the reported victim and/or his representatives in an effort to appropriately document any potential criminal allegations.”
In California, the age of consent is 18.
Argento has been a vocal advocate for the #MeToo movement since coming forward in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker exposé in October with allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. According to encrypted documents obtained by NYT, the settlement of Bennett’s intent to sue came in the months after she accused Weinstein publicly.
There has been no comment by Argento or her legal team since Sunday. Bennett’s lawyer Gordon Sattro released this statement to the media earlier today:
“At this time, our client, Jimmy Bennett, does not wish to comment on the documents or the events discussed in the New York Times article yesterday evening. While we realize that the news cycle demands an immediate response, many times, people need more than a few minutes or hours to respond. We are asking that you give our client some time and space. Jimmy is going to take the next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response. We ask that you respect our client’s privacy during this time.”