Asia Argento came under fire last week after a New York Times report alleged that the Italian actress agreed to pay $380,000 to a former co-star, Jimmy Bennett, who claims she had sexually assaulted him in 2013, when he was only 17 years old. On Tuesday, Argento denied the allegations, but says her ex-boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, urged her to pay Bennett off as a way to “deal compassionately” with him. Now, Argento is beginning to feel the brunt of the controversy. Last week, Argento dropped out of curating the Dutch music festival Le Guess Who?, and now The Hollywood Reporter reveals she’s been fired as a judge on X Factor Italy.
The singing competition series finds itself in a tough spot with the firing, as Argento had already filmed seven episodes of the show earlier in the summer. Her episodes will still air, as THR’s sources says to reshoot those episodes would be unfair to the 40,000 people who auditioned for the show’s 12 open spots. As such, a new judge will be announced during a press conference on September 5, a day before the show’s September 6 premiere. That judge will then join the judging panel on October 25, when the live segments of the competition begin airing.
Argento, who became a vocal proponent of the #MeToo movement after going public about her sexual assault at the hands of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, joined the series as a judge shortly after giving a rousing, closing night speech at this year’s Cannes Film Festival this past May. Last week, X Factor Italy producers Sky Italia and FremantleMedia Italy said in a statement that they would “cease the collaboration with Asia Argento” if the allegations were confirmed.