Los Angeles authorities looking into Asia Argento allegation

Asia Argento attends the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center

"To date, the LASD has not located any police report alleging criminal activity within our jurisdiction in relation to this incident", the statement said. The age of consent in California is 18.

Bennett's legal action was launched a month after Argento's accusations against Weinstein were made public, the Times said.

Argento and Bennett co-starred in a 2004 film called "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" in which Argento played Bennett's prostitute mother.

In October, Argento told the New Yorker Weinstein forced himself on her in 1997.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women.

As reported by The Times, Bennett allegedly met Argento at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, CA on May 9, 2013. Antony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is reacting to a report that Italian actress Asia Argento paid off a young actor who accused her of sexual assault.

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"What is perhaps most egregious is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years".

Representatives of Argento and Bennett have not responded to our request for comment.

The allegation against Argento is "definitely a challenge for the [#MeToo] movement, and we'll see whether it rises to the occasion", said Judith Taylor, a sociology and gender studies professor at the University of Toronto.

Tarana Burke, the activist who founded #MeToo more than a decade ago, reiterated on Monday that hard and uncomfortable conversations about "power and humanity and privilege and harm" is exactly what the movement is about.

She said she was unaware of the department had contacted Bennett, now 22.

Ever since the first stories about #metoo broke, Argento and McGowan have worked together to be leading voices for the movement. But grappling with sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is an issue that goes way beyond Hollywood, noted Severson, who was part of the wider New York Times team that earned a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues.

Argento became a key figure in the Me Too movement and was given a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival, for a speech in which she said the producer used the event as a "hunting ground". "But I think there's no denying that we're at a real cultural moment", she said.

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