It has been a year full of tragedy and scandal for actress and director Asia Argento, 42.
The Italian actress and daughter of filmmaker Dario Argento debuted first in October 2017 when she accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and shortly thereafter became a leader in the # MeToo movement attending meetings and speaking stories about Weinstein at the Film Festival of Cannes. In June, her friend, chef Anthony Bourdain, was found dead by suicide. "He was my love, my rock, my protector," she said at the time of his death. On Sunday, Argento was once again in the limelight after the story of a New York Times declared that she had entered into a financial arrangement with actor Jimmy Bennett, 22, after accusing her of assault after an incident four years earlier when he was only 17 and she was 37. Since then she has denied the claim and said: "I am deeply shocked and hurt by reading news that is absolutely false, I have never had a sexual relationship with Bennett. & # 39;
Read on for a timeline of how the star of XXX and The heart is Deceitful above all things became one of the most controversial figures of the # metoo movement and beyond.
RELATED VIDEO: Asia Argento, who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, reportedly paid male prosecutor: report
She was one of Harvey Weinstein's first prosecutors.
The first New York Times story that described several allegations of sexual violence and intimidation against Weinstein, 66, was published on October 5, 2017, and the role of Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker followed three weeks later. In it, Argento Weinstein accuses her of having forced her to have sex. She told Farrow that it started when she was taken to Weinstein's room by another producer and left alone with him. Reportedly, Weinstein left briefly and returned only a bathrobe and demanded a massage from Argento. She says she reluctantly agreed and then she forced her legs apart. "It would not stop, it was a nightmare," she said. "I was not willing … I said:" No, no, no. "It is contorted." Weinstein refuted her allegations after the accusations were made public at the time with his representative, who said : & # 39; All allegations of sex without mutual consent are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. "The producer's spokesman further stated," With regard to all the women who have made accusations, Mr. Weinstein believes that all these relationships a consensus. "
Asia Argento and Harvey Weinstein
Denise Truscello / WireImage
RELATED: Italian actress Asia Argento accuses Harvey Weinstein of rape: he forced oral sex on me
She became a leader of the # metoo movement.
In the same New Yorker exposé, Argento focused on the complexity of her relationship with Weinstein and discussed their mutual sexual relationship in the years after the alleged attack. Since then, she has also ruthlessly reminded the public of his role and that of the Hollywood community in hurting women. In particular, she spoke at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 and called the Weinstein & # 39; s "hunting area," according to NBC News. She also became friends with other women who led the # metoo movement, including the actresses Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra. Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Braffman told PEOPLE Monday in a statement that "the development reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento, one of the most vocal catalysts that Harvey Weinstein wanted to destroy."
Her partner, Anthony Bourdain, was found dead by suicide.
The host of CNN & # 39; s Components Unknown was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France on the morning of 8 June by good friend and French chef, Eric Ripert, according to CNN. They were busy filming an upcoming episode of the award-winning Bourdain show. Bourdain was 61. Argento and Bourdain date from January 2017.
Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain
Asia Argento / Twitter
RELATED: Asia Argento Shared Cryptic Message Hours Before Anthony Bourdain & # 39; s Apparent Suicide
She made a statement on Twitter that day and wrote: "Anthony has given himself completely in everything he did, his brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many and his generosity knew no bounds He was my love, my rock, my protector I am more than ravaged, my thoughts are with his family, I want you to respect their privacy and mine. & # 39;
Details of their complicated relationship began to emerge.
Although Bourdain was incredibly candid about his support for Argento's role in the # metoo movement, those close to them actually had concerns about their connection. Bourdain was, in a positive or negative sense, "absolutely in love", a source told PEOPLE after his death. He would have done everything for her, and that was a little red flag for some of his friends … He was crazy about her, crazy was the key word. & # 39;
RELATED VIDEO: Anthony Bourdain & # 39; s Will reveals that he was worth $ 1.2 million, leaving the majority of the assets to daughter: reports
Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain
Asia Argento / Instagram
Despite his tough guy exterior, Bourdain often stumbled across Argento. "She is a very accomplished director and writer, along with a long-time actress and a real sponge for culture, music and literature," he told PEOPLE in 2017. And in February of this year, he said he liked "her to go as far as possible "and that he" would not hate "to go with her, although the marriage was not on the table because his divorce with the woman divorced from his wife Ottavia Busia had not been completed.
The New York Times reports Argento paid actor Jimmy Bennett, who accused her of sexual assault in 2013.
Published on Sunday, the story quotes documents – sent anonymously to the paper and verified by the Times with three people familiar with the case – that show Argento reached a financial arrangement with Jimmy Bennett, who played Argento & # 39; s son in 2004 & # 39; s The heart is misleading above all else. The settlement would only take place a few months after Argento Weinstein first accused. In the report, Bennett, now 22, claimed that Argento physically abused 37 Bennett in a California hotel room in 2013 two months after he turned 17. The age of consent in California is 18 years.
Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett
Paul Archuleta / Getty Images; Stephen Lovekin / REX / Shutterstock
Argento denies the accusations
On Tuesday, Argento spoke about the Times report and suggested that Bourdain played a role in the events. She wrote in a statement to journalist Yashar Ali"I strongly deny and deny the content of the New York Times article … I am deeply shocked and hurt by reading news that is absolutely false. I never had a sexual relationship with Bennett. & # 39;
RELATED: Asia Argento denies sex assault claims, says late friend Anthony Bourdain has paid the charges
Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain
Invision / AP / REX / Shutterstock
She claims that she and Bennett were friends only in the autumn of the last century when he unexpectedly made an exorbitant request for money from her & # 39 ;. She then told that Bourdain wanted to handle the request privately, so they decided to treat Bennett "with compassion" and to help him. Argento concludes that the report is "the umpteenth development of a succession of events … that constitutes protracted persecution".
Before his marriage to Bourdain, Argento was married to director Michele Civetta. Together they have one child, Nicola Giovanna, born in 2008. She also has a child, Anna Lou Castoldi, 17, with musician Marco Castoldi.