LOS ANGELES: Rose McGowan has called upon Asia Argento, who is currently facing sexual abuse allegations, to come clean, saying "be the person you wish Harvey (Weinstein) could have been".
According to documents obtained by The New York Times, Argento made a deal with former child actor-musician Jimmy Bennett last year, whom she allegedly abused sexually, for the amount of USD 380,000, payable over the period of a year-and-a-half.
McGowan and Argento were among the first women in Hollywood to publicly accuse Weinstein for years of sexual misconduct and harassment in The New York Times last year.
McGowan, one of the vocal advocates of the #MeToo movement, released a lengthy statement in which she said that her partner, model Rain Dove, told her in text messages, Argento had said that she had been receiving unsolicited nude photos of accuser Jimmy Bennett since the time he was 12 and had not informed the authorities or told him to stop sending the photos.
"They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet.
Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she'd been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12.
"Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn't take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy's social media. Not even a simple message 'Don't send me these images. They are inappropriate'," she said in a statement.
McGowan said she introduced Dove to the Italian actor-director days after the passing of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, her boyfriend.
"It was an emotionally chaotic time and Rain Dove suggested we go to Berlin for a couple days to take the mourning out of Asia's home and into a neutral space. While in Berlin Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image. No one in the room knew who the extortionist was. Now we know it to be a reference to this case."
The "Charmed" alum said it was sad to lose a friend in Argento but "what's even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennet".
She said she had been "extremely humbled by this event".
"I had to take a step back and realise that in my own activism while I fight hard with passion - I need to evolve," the actor explained her reasons for not issuing a statement till now.
She concluded her part urging Argento to do the right thing, saying she had "spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement".
"I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be be better - I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been," McGowan said.
"I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false," she said last week in a statement circulated on social media.
Argento has denied assaulting Bennett, saying the actor wanted to extract money from her after her name came up in the Weinstein scandal.
She said rather than facing a court battle at a time when she was already dealing with a public case, Bourdain, decided to pay off Bennett.