Earlier this week, Rose McGowan released a detailed statement regarding recent allegations that Asia Argento sexually assaulted a former underage co-star. McGowan explained that the person she's dating, gender-nonconforming model and activist Rain Dove, was the one whose text messages with Argento—in which she seemingly admitted to having sex with Jimmy Bennett while he was underage—were leaked by TMZ. Dove has now issued their own statement explaining their role in all this: "When [Argento] made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty."
In the text messages that TMZ published last week, Argento wrote: "I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter." Another message read, "The public knows nothing, only what the NYT wrote. Which is one sided. The shakedown letter. The horny kid jumped me."
"An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape," Dove added. "As well as such they admitted to receiving continued nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action."
Dove, who prefers they/them pronouns, said in a statement given to the Times that Argento came to them asking for assistance in handling the initial NY Times story on the sexual assault. "Occasionally in the past individuals have come to me knowing that they were guilty, they admitted the guilt off the bat, and my space in their life has been guiding them through the rehabilitation process with the community and shifting their negative actions into proactive ones so that they can be productive members of the community again while justice also prevails," they wrote. "The key to agreement to assist is that they have the intention to do whats necessary to rectify a situation. Unfortunately Asia did not have that intention."
When Dove saw Argento's statement to the Times strongly denying the accusations, and instead claiming that her late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, paid her accuser out of compassion, Dove decided to take action.
This is a person who represents a certain ideal and who has called out for all those accused of sexual assault to be honest about their experiences in order to allow justice for the victims. However when the NYT statement came out, in which Asia denied any sexual engagement that’s when it became clear that they were not going to follow their own ethics. I had received the original statement from Asia before they put it out into the world, before they had admitted their sexual engagement. In it they were dismissive of the victim, put down the integrity of the reporter Kim Severson utilising [sic] the guilt power of the opinion of their deceased former partner Anthony Bourdain, and robbed all parties of their truth. It was painful to read. I had hoped that that narrative would change after our conversation but unfortunately the piece went straight to press.
Before bringing this information to police I did speak with Rose McGowan as they are the person who introduced me to Asia. I was admittedly a little nervous because I knew that Asia was an important person in Rose’s life. When confronted with the messages and knowledge that I was going to go to the police, Rose immediately agreed that it was the right action to take. No begging or bargaining. No anger. Just very matter of fact. I know this is a painful loss of community in Rose’s life and I’m proud of her dedication to the truth. Its tempting to many to cover for their loved ones during rough times, but when a victim is involved on the other end we must think of them. True justice has no bias.
Dove said that they sent the texts to the Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the case. Argento has accused Dove and McGowan, who has broken off contact with Argento, of leaking the texts to TMZ and other news outlets, which they denied to the Times. Dove said that they did "share the texts with a small circle of people seeking advice, and suspects that might be how the information came out."
Asia Argento posted a photo of her and accuser Jimmy Bennett on Instagram around the time the incident allegedly happened.
On August 19th, the NY Times reported that Argento had paid $380,000 to Bennett (who once played her son in a movie), right in the midst of her publicly accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of assaulting her.
Dove added in their statement that the cases involving whether or not Argento sexually assaulted Bennett, or Bennett extorted Argento, or Weinstein assaulted Argento should all be treated separately and equally seriously. Argento's "choice to lie to the NYT does not mean that they are lying about [Weinstein]. Their accounts for that case should be held separately and fairly," Dove said.
"Asia has contributed a strong voice to the #MeToo movement and encouraged many in their nation as well as around the globe to come forward with their truths. Perhaps, despite where public opinion may be over time, through honesty, dialogue and rehabilitation this person can become a strong advocate for justice once again. Especially uniquely as a person who is experiencing both sides of the coin."