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#MeToo leader Asia Argento threatens to sue fellow leader Rose McGowan over sex assault allegations

Actress and filmmaker Asia Argento threatens to sue actress Rose McGowan on Twitter over allegations of sexual assault. Argento is demanding that McGowan issue a retraction and apology, or face legal action. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Actress and filmmaker Asia Argento is threatening to sue actress Rose McGowan over what she calls McGowan's "horrendous lies."

Both women have been instrumental in pushing forward the #MeToo agenda — but only one of them stands accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male in 2013.

McGowan, who was once relatively close to Argento, very publicly turned away from her fellow activist once details of the alleged incident went public.

Now Argento is demanding that McGowan issue a retraction and apology, or face legal action.

What's the background?

Argento reportedly sexually assaulted 17-year-old actor Jimmy Bennett in 2013. She reportedly paid him off after he allegedly extorted her with a post-coital photo. A New York Times report revealed that Argento settled with the former child actor for about $380,000.

Journalist Yashar Ali shared a statement from Argento denying the disturbing allegations.

A thread of text messages were later leaked to TMZ that indicated that Argento did have sex with the then-17-year-old. In response to the text messages, McGowan issued a statement of her own, which expressed her disappointment with the allegations.

“What was hard,” McGowan wrote, “was the shell shock of the [realization] that everything the #MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy.”

McGowan's partner, Rain Dove, was ultimately behind the release of the text messages. Dove turned over the messages to police after the conversation indicated that Argento did have sex with the underage actor. Argento also reportedly claimed Bennett had been sending her unsolicited nude photos from the time he was 13. Dove said Argento did not take any action to stop the explicit messages.

Earlier in September, TMZ reported that Argento said that it was Bennett who'd sexually assaulted her — and not the other way around.


What's happening now?

On Monday, Argento issued an ultimatum to McGowan over the allegations.

In a tweet, Argento wrote, "Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise [sic] for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th."

Argento added, "If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action."

At the time of this writing, McGowan has yet to publicly respond to Argento's demand.

One last thing…
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