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#MeToo activist Asia Argento reportedly had sex with underage star, agrees to pay accuser

The actress played accuser Jimmy Bennett's prostitute mother in a 2004 film. Bennett alleges they had sex when he was 17. Calif.'s age of consent is 18.
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Italian actress Asia Argento — one of the most prominent activists of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment — recently agreed to make payments to a young actor and musician who said she sexually assaulted him when he was 17, the New York Times reported.

Image: Jimmy Bennett in 2015
Jimmy Bennett in 2015.Paul Archuleta / Getty Images file

Argento, 42, settled allegations made in the notice of intent to sue sent by Jimmy Bennett, who is now 22, for $380,000 shortly after she said last October that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein raped her, the Times reported.

Argento and Bennett co-starred in a 2004 film called "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" in which Argento played Bennett's prostitute mother.

According to the New York Times, Bennett says in the notice that he had sex with Argento in a California hotel in 2013, two months after he turned 17. The age of consent in California is 18.

Jimmy Bennett, John Robinson and Asia Argento.
Actor Jimmy Bennett (left) with co-stars John Robinson and Asia Argento at the wrap party for "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" in 2004. Bennett alleges that he had sex with Argento in a California hotel in 2013.J. Vespa / Getty Images

The notice says the encounter traumatized Bennett and hurt his career, the Times reported.

The newspaper said it received documents that included a selfie of Argento and Bennett in bed. Three people familiar with the case said the documents were authentic, the Times reported.

Argento became one of the most well-known activists of the #MeToo movement after she told the New Yorker magazine that Weinstein raped her at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 when she was 21. Argento told the magazine that she continued to have a relationship with Weinstein because she was afraid of angering him.

Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, has been indicted on sex crime charges involving three women. Argento is not one of the three. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Representatives for Argento could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press for comment.

Through a representative, Bennett declined to comment to the Times.

Argento recently faced online persecution after her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, took his own life. Online trolls began harassing her, saying that she caused his death. Numerous sexual assault and harassment survivors penned on op-ed in the Los Angeles Times supporting her.

In addition to the 2004 movie with Argento, Bennett appeared in other films, including "Daddy Day Care," and recently had a role on the TV series "Bosch." He is now working on a music career.