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Actress Asia Argento Denies Sexual Assault Allegations Involving Teen Actor

Actress Asia Argento on Tuesday denied allegations that she sexually assaulted a young actor when he was 17 but acknowledged that a settlement was paid to him to avoid a public spectacle.

“I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with [Jimmy] Bennett,” Argento said in a statement issued to the Guardian and the Huffington Post.

Argento responded to a story published by the New York Times that said she had sex with and performed a sex act on Bennett at a Marina del Rey hotel in November 2013, when he was 17. The story, which was based on leaked documents, said that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 for photos of them together in the room. That sum was paid after Bennett’s lawyer filed a notice of intent to sue.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is now investigating the allegation of sex with a minor.

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