Rose McGowan to Asia Argento after sexual assault claim: "Do the right thing"

On Aug. 19, The New York Times published a bombshell of a story with a headline that read, “Asia Argento, a #MeToo Leader, Made a Deal With Her Own Accuser.” Details of the story were shocking to say the least: Argento agreed to a pay a $380,000 settlement to Jimmy Bennett — a young actor who played her son when he was 7 years old in the film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which she co-wrote, directed and starred in — after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in 2013 when he was 17 years old. (Argento has admitted to the payout, but has denied all charges.)

Almost immediately, online critics demanded that Rose McGowan respond to the allegations facing her friend and fellow #MeToo activist. After all, the two had grown close over the past year after they both stepped forward with horrific allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein. McGowan answered the call, but only briefly, by tweeting on Aug. 20 that her “heart is broken,” before adding (and later deleting), “I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere. None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.”

McGowan made sure more was revealed on Monday when she issued a lengthy statement via her former reps at marketing and PR agency Brigade Marketing. (The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the validity of the statement with McGowan, who added, “I believe in justice.”) In the statement, McGowan further distances herself from Argento by using past tense to refer to the status of their friendship, and she calls on Argento to clear the air in the wake of the misconduct allegations. “Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement,” she writes. “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.”