PARIS, September 24 – Asia Argento, the actress whose rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement, has paid the price for her bravery.
“I can’t say it has helped me a lot in life,” the 47-year-old told AFP.
Argento’s revelations four years ago that she was raped by the American producer in 1997 at the age of 21 sparked a wave of allegations in the film industry and far beyond.
âIt became a tsunami,â she said.
“It didn’t help me, it put me in a huge depression, but my conscience told me I had to tell the truth.”
Daughter of the great Italian horror filmmaker Dario Argento, she now recounts this episode and the rest of her tumultuous life in an autobiography, Anatomy of a wild heart.
It caused a stir when it was released in Italy in January for chronicling another alleged sexual assault – this time by Rob Cohen (director of The Fast and the Furious).
Argento accuses Cohen of drugging and raping her while filming xXx in 2002.
Cohen has denied the charge, but faces further allegations of sexual assault, including by his own daughter.
‘Lose its meaning’
Despite the whirlwind it caused, Argento does not regret having denounced Weinstein.
“When I found out that there were several women who went through the same thing … that this guy was a serial predator … I couldn’t escape that voice that said to me: ‘ How will you feel if you know all of this and you don’t say anything, “” she told AFP.
“And it wasn’t a failure, because I managed to send this guy to jail.”
Weinstein was convicted in 2020 of dozens of rape and sexual assault charges, and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is appealing the verdicts.
But she has mixed feelings about the MeToo movement, fearing it has become “almost a trendy thing.”
âWhen you hear a word too many times, it loses its meaning. When we talk too much about something, it becomes hysterical.
Argento faced his own charges, accused by former child actor Jimmy Bennett of sexually assaulting him when he was 17.
Argento denies the charges, saying Bennett, who once played her son in a movie, was obsessed with her and tried to extort money from her boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
According to her lawyer, Bourdain chose to pay Bennett US $ 380,000 (RM 1.5 million) for his silence, but she froze the remaining payments after Bourdain died by suicide in 2018.
Today, she avoids the subject by telling AFP: âThese are things that do not belong to my present. I don’t carry any resentment.
“Not my fight”
Argento, however, does not like the idea of ââbeing “a symbol” of any women’s movement.
âI thought my mother had led the fight for women’s liberation, sexual liberation … Now finding myself talking about the same thing, it bothers me a bit.
“It’s not my fight, I did what I had to do, I’m not interested.”
His autobiography is the story of a tumultuous life, of a wild but painful childhood in Rome, prisoner of a negligent father and a violent mother.
It barely calmed down after that, as she found success in acting, directing, and music amid a whirlwind of drugs, love stories and tragedy – most notably the shocking death. by Bourdain.
For the “eternally misunderstood,” as she sees herself, writing has been an act of therapy.
âWhen I threw it all up on the paper, I was able to step back and look at it from a distance, as if I was looking at a painting.
âIf others can see who I am and identify with this picture of my life, maybe I will feel less alone. “- AFP