Asia Argento denied that she had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and claimed that her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain paid off her accuser in a statement Tuesday. The actress/director says she was linked to her accuser—who claims Argento sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room when he was 17—“by friendship only” and that he “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me.” “Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this is also what [the accuser] wanted,” she continued. She called a report in The New York Times about the claims “absolutely false,” and insisted that her decision to pay the man, reportedly a sum of $380,000, was one of compassion. “Anthony personally undertook to help [him] economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life,” the statement says.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is now investigating the allegations against Argento. The actress was vocal in the #MeToo movement, alleging that Harvey Weinstein raped her when she was 21. “This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts who sought to destroy Harvey Weinstein,” a statement from Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said.