Actress Asia Argento on Tuesday denied an allegation of sexual assault from a former costar while admitting that her late partner Anthony Bourdain paid the accuser to keep the claim quiet. Actor Jimmy Bennett accused Argento of sexually assaulting him when he was 17, The New York Times reported Sunday, and Argento ultimately paid him $380,000. In a statement, Argento strongly denied "any sexual relationship with Bennett" and claimed that Bennett knowingly levied a false accusation because he was "undergoing severe economic problems" and knew Bourdain had a reputation to protect. Bourdain "personally undertook to help Bennett economically," Argento wrote, in exchange for no "further intrusions." The arrangement came after Argento accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, launching the #MeToo movement.

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