LOS ANGELES: Harvey Weinstein's lawyer has slammed Asia Argento following a report that she had settled a sexual abuse claim brought by actor-singer James Bennett.
Argento was one of Weinstein's initial accusers revealing to the New Yorker that he forcibly performed oral sex on her 20 years ago.
She has also been one of the vocal advocates of the #MeToo movement.
The New York Times on Sunday reported that Argento, months after publicly accusing Weinstein of sexually assaulting her, arranged to pay USD 380,000 to actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, who claimed she sexually assaulted him in 2013 when he was 17 and Argento was 37.
Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, said in a statement to TMZ that the revelations about Argento undermine her claims against Weinstein.
"This development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts who sought to destroy Harvey Weinstein.
What is perhaps most egregious, is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years.
"The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr Weinstein were actually vetted and accordingly, cause all of us to pause and allow due process to prevail, not condemnation by fundamental dishonesty," Brafman said.
Argento did not sue Weinstein and her allegations against him are not being used in his planned trial.