Amid a steady stream of backlash aimed at Asia Argento, CNN has shelved episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” that feature the Italian actress and activist.
CNN confirmed to Fox News that all episodes featuring Argento have been pulled from their streaming service CNN Go following allegations that Argento, 42, sexually assaulted actor/musician Jimmy Bennet in 2013 when he was 17 years old. Argento was featured in two episodes — one set in Rome and another, which she directed, that took place in Hong Kong. In addition to being pulled from the app, neither will reportedly air in syndication, according to Fox News. She and Bourdain were dating at the time of his death earlier this year, and first met while Bourdain was filming an episode of the show.
“In light of the recent news reports about Asia Argento, CNN will discontinue airing past episodes of ‘Parts Unknown’ that included her until further notice,” a CNN spokesperson told Fox News.
A New York Times report published last month alleged that Argento reached a financial settlement with Jimmy Bennett, now 22, after Bennett accused Argento of giving him alcohol and sexually assaulting him when he was a teen. In her only statement following the report, Argento denied having a sexual relationship with Bennett and claimed that his motivations for accusing her were financial. It was partly her late boyfriend Bourdain’s decision to meet Bennett’s demands in order to avoid the risk of negative publicity, Argento claimed.
Shortly afterward, TMZ published a photo that was reportedly taken shortly after the 2013 alleged assault and appears to show Argento and Bennett lying in bed together shirtless. Model Rain Dove later confirmed the authenticity of leaked text messages that seem to show Argento confessing to having sex with Bennett to a friend. In the text messages, which Dove later confirmed Argento had sent, Argento claimed to have not known that Bennett was a minor at the time the alleged assault took place.
Argento has long been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement and publicly alleged to have been sexually assaulted by disgraced Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstein.
[Photo: Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain attend the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. By Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images]