She’s following the first rule of crisis PR: When things look really bad, blame it on your now-dead boyfriend who just committed suicide.
Argento’s going to force #MeToo observers to wrestle with a hard question. Why should they give other sexual-assault victims the benefit of the doubt on their accusations but not her alleged victim? Is it a matter of numbers, i.e. there are 100 women accusing Harvey Weinstein versus one lone man accusing Argento? Or is it a matter of Argento supposedly being more credible because she’s spoken out passionately on victims’ behalf?
|Jimmy Bennet (Left), John Robinson and Asia Argento at
"The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" wrap party in 2003.
Neither one works. It can’t be that extolling #MeToo is a talismanic presumption of innocence on assault charges in the court of public opinion or else every pervert in the world will suddenly be a cheerleader for #MeToo. And it can’t be a pure numbers game, or else anyone who’s accused of assaulting “just” one person is exempt from the “Believe the victims!” rallying cry.
|Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain
If you want to beat back an accusation, explain with particulars why it’s false. She doesn’t do that here. What she does — and tell me if this sounds familiar — is attack the alleged victim as a greedy blackmailing liar looking for an easy payday.
Well, Anthony can't complain, right?
Bennett was “undergoing severe economic problems,” she says (the NYT story yesterday noted that he had sued his parents over his earnings a few years before), and therefore she and Bourdain decided to “deal compassionately” with his demand for money. So they cut him a check for … $380,000, which was a lot of money to Bourdain and Argento. One of the shocking details revealed after his death a few months ago was that he wasn’t worth nearly as much as most people thought a TV star and author might be. His estate was valued at all of $1.2 million.
Which means, if it’s true that Bourdain picked up the tab for Bennett’s payoff, he gave the kid a quarter of his net worth. Does that seem likely?
Wombat-socho is going Asian with "Rule 5 Sunday: Mariya Takeuchi" .