Rain Dove, a model who is dating #MeToo activist Rose McGowan, has told NBC News that they sent text messages to police in which actress Asia Argento appears to admit to a sexual encounter with an underage actor.
Dove, who identifies as gender nonbinary and does not use traditional gender pronouns, said they believed they "had no choice but to go forward, because otherwise I would be complicit."
"I would be robbing another individual of their ability to be heard in their story," Dove told NBC News, referring to Jimmy Bennett, the actor who said in documents obtained by The New York Times that he had sex with Argento in a California hotel room in 2013, two months after he turned 17.
The age of consent in California is 18. NBC News has not reviewed or independently verified the documents.
Argento, 42, who was widely seen as one of the leading voices of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, denied the sexual encounter in a statement last week, saying in part, "I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false."
But in one of the purported text messages, Argento says: "I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter."
Bennett and Argento have not commented publication of the text messages.
Dove, 28, was first identified by McGowan as the person communicating with Argento in the potentially incriminating texts. Dove said they met Argento after the death of the actress' boyfriend, celebrity chief Anthony Bourdain.
The model claimed that they were not the person who leaked screenshots of the text messages to TMZ, which also published a photo last week that purports to show Argento in bed with Bennett.
The Times has reported that Argento settled allegations made in a notice of intent to sue by Bennett, who is now 22, for $380,000, months after she first leveled sexual assault accusations against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
But in her statement, Argento claimed the payment was made by Bourdain in order to ease what she describes as Bennett's "severe economic problems."
Dove, who is also a vocal activist aligned with the #MeToo movement, told NBC News that "hopefully healing can occur, rehabilitation, and [Argento] can go back to being an advocate for so many people."