Actress Asia Argento threatened legal action against her fellow #MeToo activist and former friend Rose McGowan over a statement she made in August about sexual assault allegations against Argento. In an open letter published last month, McGowan announced that she had cut ties with Argento after Argento was accused of sexually assaulting actor Jimmy Bennett when he was 17 years old.
McGowan alleged in the statement that Argento admitted in text messages to her partner, Rain Dove, that she had received unsolicited nude photos from Bennett since he was 12 years old. McGowan also claimed that Argento admitted to Dove that she had “slept” with Bennett.
In a tweet early Monday morning, Argento threatened a libel lawsuit against McGowan over her public statements.
“Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th,” Argento wrote. “If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.”
Argento was one of the first women to publicly come forward with sexual assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, which brought her and McGowan together as organizers of the #MeToo movement. McGowan also accused Weinstein of rape.
McGowan distanced herself and later cut ties with Argento after reports that she had reached a $380,000 settlement with Bennett last year for the alleged sexual assault. Argento denies the allegations and said that her late-boyfriend Anthony Bourdain made the payments to Bennett, who is now 22 years old.