Asia Argento claims won't discredit #MeToo Movement, says founder

According to the New York Times, Italian actress Asia Argento, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, allegedly paid a former child actor after he claimed that she assaulted him in a California hotel room.

FILE: Italian actress Asia Argento at the Cannes Film Festival. Picture: @AsiaArgento/Twitter

NEW YORK - The founder the Me Too Movement says the revelation that one of most outspoken figures had paid off her own sexual assault accuser should not discredit the larger movement.

According to the New York Times, Italian actress Asia Argento, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, allegedly paid a former child actor after he claimed that she assaulted him in a California hotel room.

Tarana Burke, who sparked the initial ‘me too’ hashtag that led to the greater movement, is calling on her fellow activists to press forward, saying there is no model victim.

On Twitter, Burke, who didn’t refer to Argento by name, made reference to recent news stories, adding that some would use to try discredit the movement.

Weinstein took the opportunity to issue a statement via his lawyer, saying Argento paying off a sexual assault victim at the same time she was accusing him of sexual assault reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy and that her allegations against him were poorly vetted.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday it was trying to reach Argento.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Darren Harris said it was aware of media reports naming Argento “as being involved in an alleged 2013 incident.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women. He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone and has pleaded not guilty in a New York court to charges of rape and other charges.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)