Thursday update, Sept 20: The time was set. The time has passed. Asia Argento has said on Twitter that she is moving ahead with plans to sue Rose McGowan. The actress updated, “I must inform you that I’ve instructed Mishcon de Reya to seek for substantial damages for deception, fraud, coercion and libel. You will hear from them shortly.” Nothing from McGowan’s side yet.
Mishcon de Reya is the blue chip British law firm which has repped clients including Deborah Lipstadt, Jeffrey Archer and Princess Diana. Not much regal about this spat, however.
Previous story, Sept 17, 06:07: Unless Rose McGowan retracts her August 27 statement urging Asia Argento to “be the person you wish Harvey could have been,” Argento has vowed to take “immediate legal action” against McGowan.
In a tweet this morning, Argento expressed “genuine regret” over having to make the threat, but demanded that McGowan retract the statement and apologize within 24 hours.
Relations between the actresses and former friends have deteriorated since reports first emerged last month that Argento had paid off actor Jimmy Bennett for keeping quiet about an alleged sexual assault in 2013, when Bennett was 17.
McGowan’s widely circulated statement on August 27 was her second comment on the matter. In the statement, the fellow alleged Harvey Weinstein victim and Brave author detailed her friendship with Argento but also her role in the situation and some insights into a personal evolution.
She held nothing back due to friendship or otherwise, and the statement marked a milestone in the year-old #MeToo movement. “There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault,” McGowan asserted.
“At this current moment it may be easy to focus on the drama of the situation. The conspiracy. But the real focus should be on supporting justice. Supporting honesty. And supporting each other. 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’s statement said. “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.”
Here is Argento’s tweet: