Asia Argento to Sue Rose McGowan for 'Libel and Deception'

Asia Argento confirmed Tuesday she would sue Rose McGowan. The Italian actress took to Twitter to release her statement.

"To @rosemcgowan. The 24-hour deadline given to retract your recent false statements about me has now passed. I must inform you and @raindovemodel that I've instructed Mishcon de Reya to seek substantial damages for deception, fraud, coercion and libel. You will hear from them shortly," she tweeted.

Argento warned McGowan the day before she would take legal action if her former friend did not retract claims about Argento allegedly receiving nude photos from actor Jimmy Bennett when he was 12 years old. "Dear @RoseMcGowan. It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologize for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th," her post said. "If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action."

Argento was accused of sexually assaulting Bennett when he was 17 and she was 37 in California. The age of consent in the state is 18.

In her statement last month, McGowan claimed her partner, androgynous model Rain Dove, told her about the alleged underage photos. She used gender-neutral pronouns when referring to Dove.

"I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I've been dating—Rain Dove," McGowan wrote in a mass email in August. "They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennett. Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she'd been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12."

The statement continued, "Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You've spent and risked a lot to stand with the #MeToo Movement. I really hope you find your way through this process of rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been."

Dove later issued a different statement on Twitter, saying Bennett's age was misinterpreted in the text conversation. Dove wrote Bennett was not 12 when Argento allegedly received these photos, though those tweets have since been deleted.

McGowan and Argento had been friends since 2017 when they became prominent figures in the #MeToo movement, with McGowan being accused of hypocrisy when she asked people to "be gentle" when the claims against Argento were first made by Bennett.

"None of us know the truth of the situation and I'm sure more will be revealed. Be gentle," she tweeted on August 20. She and Argento "shared [the] pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein."

Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women when an exposé by Ronan Farrow was published in October. Weinstein was charged with six felony counts of sexual assault, including one count of rape, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul pleaded not guilty.

McGowan has been one of the harshest critics against Weinstein and those accused sexual assault. She has not yet responded publicly to Argento's tweets.

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Asia Argento arrives at the Cannes Film Festival, on May 19, in southern France. Argento is suing her former friend actress Rose McGowan for defamation. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images
Asia Argento to Sue Rose McGowan for 'Libel and Deception' | Culture