On August 27, Rose McGowan released a statement urging Asia Argento to “do the right thing” and own up to her alleged assault of an underaged teen. This statement followed a New York Times piece that revealed Argento had been accused of assaulting then-17-year-old child actor Jimmy Bennett and later settled for $380,000.
Now the Italian actress is threatening to sue McGowan if she doesn’t retract her statement within 24 hours.
McGowan and Argento formed a close relationship after they joined dozens of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of varying levels of sexual assault and harassment. They remained on the front lines of the increasingly popular #MeToo movement and #TimesUp.
“Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve 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,” McGowan wrote in her statement following the NYT story. “Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been."
After allegations against Argento, who was dating Anthony Bourdain at the time of his death, surfaced, McGowan came forward to claim Argento admitted the sexual assault to model and activist Rain Dove. McGowan also said it was Dove who provided a leaked text exchange with Argento to authorities.
“I had sex with him and it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor until the shakedown letter. The public knows nothing, only what NYT wrote. Which is one-sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me," Argento reportedly wrote via text. The actress first publicly denied the allegations, before later claiming Bennett attacked her.
McGowan has yet to respond to the legal threat.