LOS ANGELES: Actor Mira Sorvino says she is "heartsick" over allegations that Asia Argento sexually assaulted a young male actor and secretly paid him off.
In a statement, posted on her Twitter account, Srovino said she was "reeling from the recent news" and hoped against hope that allegations against Arjento are not true.
"I have been heartsick over the recent allegations against Asia Argento. Time will clarify things and perhaps she will be exonerated, but if true, there is no lens that makes it better.
"Child sexual assault is a heinous crime and is against all that I and the #MeToo movement stands for. I remain dedicated in the fight for all victims and change the culture that encourages the abuse of power in sexual relationships," she said.
According to a New York Times report, Argento paid child actor Jimmy Bennett USD 380,000 in November after his lawyers had served her with a notice to sue for sexual assault.
The alleged assault is said to have taken place in a Californian hotel in 2013 when Bennett, now 22, was just two months past his 17th birthday.
The age of consent in California is 18.
Argento has denied the allegations, claiming the assault never took place.
She admits that a payment was made to Bennett by her then-boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, to stop him from harassing them as they were already in the middle of the Weinstein scandal.
She claims Bennett was in financial trouble and wanted to extract money from her when her name appeared in papers as an accuser in Weinstein's case.
"I am deeply shocked and hurt having read the news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett," she said in a statement.
Rose McGowan, a friend of Argento, also distanced herself from the actor, tweeting that her "heart was broken" and that she would continue "continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere."