Rose McGowan publicly apologizes to Asia Argento for Jimmy Bennett sex scandal comments after threat of libel lawsuit

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Asia Argento, left, has received an apology from Rose McGowan, but she still doesn’t seem fully satisfied with it. (Photo: Getty Images)

Asia Argento has gotten the apology she wanted from Rose McGowan — well, sort of.

Amid the craziness of Thursday’s Kavanaugh and Ford hearing, McGowan publicly apologized to her former friend and #MeToo advocate after Argento threatened to sue her over what she called libelous comments related to the Jimmy Bennett sex scandal.

McGowan posted a long apology:

The Italian actress seemed to accept it — with a few asterisks. One is that she thinks McGowan is still at fault for her being fired from the Italian version of X Factor. The other is that she also believes McGowan’s comments have led to her publicly being branded a pedophile.

For good measure, Argento threw in a parting shot, urging McGowan to “stop hurting people.”

The drama between the women stemmed from the Aug. 20 exposé in the New York Times that revealed Argento had paid off former child star Bennett, who accused Argento of statutory rape. (He was 17 when they had sex in 2013, while she was 37. They have both claimed to be the victim in the scenario. He said she sexually assaulted him; she says a “horny” Bennett “jumped” her.)

After the story came out, McGowan distanced herself from Argento. In the stinging statement McGowan made on Aug. 27, she wrote that she had been told, by her partner Rain Dove, who was also friends with Argento, that Argento told him Bennett had started sending her nude photos when he was 12 years old. However, Argento later clarified that he started sending them when he was 17. (Regardless, Bennett was still underage when he sent the illicit photos — as McGowan points out in her apology — and Argento didn’t contact the authorities about it.)

Argento took to Twitter to demand that McGowan and Dove correct the age disparity. While Dove did say she was sorry, McGowan didn’t, leading Argento to threaten her with legal action last week. Now that McGowan has apologized publicly, it would seem that any legal action would be halted, but Argento’s law firm, Mischon de Reya, has not responded to our inquiry. And the fact that Argento is continuing to claim that McGowan caused her to lose work indicates that she still may seek damages for lost wages.

Something that is not up in the air is the status of the friendship between the women, who bonded last year over their claims that they were raped by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. They went on to become two of the most well-known faces of the #MeToo movement.

In an interview with the DailyMail this week, Argento detailed how they connected over being alleged victims of the man they refer to as “the monster.” McGowan “was the first person, another Weinstein victim, I was talking to,” Argento said. “For me it was a cathartic moment.” The women became so close that Argento said she viewed McGowan as a “sister,” and they got matching tattoos. And when Argento’s boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, committed suicide in June, McGowan — along with Dove — rushed to her side.

But now Argento says it was all a “publicity stunt” for McGowan to get attention. Argento made many other outrageous claims about McGowan and Dove in the interview related to Bourdain’s death, including that they made up a fake story about the circumstances in which Bourdain died (involving a Russian prostitute and heroin) and gave her ashes they said were those of the Parts Unknown star but weren’t. (Like we said, outrageous. You kind of have to read it to fully absorb it.)

As for those matching tattoos, Argento added that she’ll soon be having hers removed.

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