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Asia Argento Says She's Suing Rose McGowan For Deception And Libel

Argento says she's moving forward with legal action against her former friend after McGowan released a statement claiming that Argento admitted to having sex with her accuser when he was underage.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

It looks like Rose McGowan missed her deadline.

One day after Asia Argento threatened to sue McGowan if she didn’t retract her statements about the sexual assault accusations surrounding Argento, Argento took to Twitter to announce that she would be making good on her threat to take legal action against her former friend.

“To @rosemcgowan. The 24hr deadline given to retract your recent false statements about me has now passed. I must inform you & @raindovemodel that I’ve instructed Mishcon de Reya to seek substantial damages for deception, fraud, coercion and libel. You will hear from them shortly,” she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Argento’s tweet on Monday demanded that McGowan apologize and retract her previous statements on Argento’s sexual assault case within 24 hours.

“If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action,” her tweet continued.

A New York Times report published last month claimed that Argento, 42, was accused of sexually assaulting actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, now 22, in a California hotel room when he was only 17 years old. The report also claimed that Argento reached a financial agreement with Bennett, presumably in order to avoid controversy. Argento denied the claims but, in the following days, TMZ published screenshots of text message conversations that purportedly showed Argento admitting to having sex with the boy, as well as stating that he’d been sending her unsolicited nude photos of himself from the age of 12.

After initially asking the public to be “gentle” with Argento, McGowan, a fellow figurehead of the #MeToo movement, released a statement addressing the situation. McGowan claimed that her partner, model Rain Dove, had had text message conversations with Argento during which Argento admitted to having sex with Bennett when he was a minor. Rain Dove also released a statement confirming that the texts TMZ published were authentic and stating that they'd be turned over to police.

In her most recent statement, Argento painted her 2013 encounter with Bennett in a different light, and accused him of “sexually attacking” her.

[Photo: Asia Argento and Rose McGowan take part in a march organized by the #MeToo movement on March 8, 2018 as part of the International Women’s Day in Rome. By Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images]

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