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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Asia Argento raises new sexual assault allegations against xXx director Rob Cohen

Asia Argento in 2018
Asia Argento in 2018
Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

As reported by Variety, Asia Argento has brought up new sexual assault allegations against The Fast And The Furious director Rob Cohen. Argento says the alleged assault happened when she was filming xXx with Cohen, telling various Italian media outlets recently that Cohen had abused her and made her drink GHB (an anesthetic that Variety notes has “a history of use in date rape”), after which she remembers waking up naked in his bed.

Argento told Variety that she talks more about the allegations in her upcoming autobiography, Anatomy Of A Wild Heart, but she has said on an Italian talk show that she didn’t bring this up before because she wasn’t sure what had happened until someone told her about GHB and its effects. Argento also says she “did not want to create another storm” by coming forward (referring to her allegations against Harvey Weinstein), but changed her mind after two other women—including Cohen’s own daughter—came forward with accusations of their own. That happened last summer, with Cohen’s lawyers denying the accusations and denouncing them as “an effort to feed the ‘Me Too’ media frenzy.”

Argento, of course, was an early figure in the rise of the #MeToo movement thanks to her sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein that came out in Ronan Farrow’s famous New Yorker story. She was also accused of sexual assault herself a year or so after those stories came out, when a man named Jimmy Bennett accused Argento of assaulting him when he was 17. Argento had agreed to pay Bennett a $380,000 settlement, though she later denied any wrongdoing and claimed that the settlement was her then-boyfriend Anthony Bourdain’s idea (Bourdain died before the story came out publicly). Argento also refused to pay the full $380,000 after raising some accusations of her own against Bennett.

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As for Cohen, he has not responded to these allegations, but a representative did release a statement calling the accusations “bewildering” and saying that Cohen and Argento “had an excellent working relationship” in 2002 and that he “considered her a friend.”

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