CNN has removed episodes of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown featuring Asia Argento from its streaming service due to allegations against Argento made by actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, E! News can confirm.A Parts Unknown spokesperson told E! News in a statement, “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.”Argento was in front of the camera for two episodes of the show—Rome and Southern Italy—and directed one of the final episodes in Hong Kong. Argento and Anthony Bourdain dated until the TV host and chef committed suicide on June 8 in France. Bourdain and Argento first met while filming a Parts Unknown episode in the actress’ hometown of Rome. On Aug. 19, the New York Times reported that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexual battery from an incident that allegedly occurred in 2013 at a hotel in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
Bennett’s allegations against Argento claim she removed his pants, performed oral sex and then the two of them had intercourse. According to the report, Argento was 37 when this allegedly occurred and Bennett was 17. The age of consent in California is 18.Two days after the news broke, Argento said in a statement that she was “deeply shocked and hurt” about the report and “strongly” denies it. She then brought up her late boyfriend, Bourdain. “Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect,” she wrote. Argento said Bourdain “insisted the matter be handled privately” and apparently took it upon himself to “help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life.”
Bennett did not initially comment to the Times when the report first came out, but then released his own statement a few days later. “Today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence,” he wrote.Bennett expressed why he waited to speak out: “I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative. I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public.”He added, “I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy.”
Up until the report, Argento was one of the foremost and loudest voices in the #MeToo movement and accused now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.Bourdain constantly praised his girlfriend’s fervor and advocacy in the movement and became a vocal supporter as well.Since allegations against Argento arose, the actress has reportedly been fired from her role as a judge on X Factor Italy. E! News has reached out to Argento’s attorney for comment.
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