Asia Argento, who’s been a leading figure and voice within the #MeToo movement and one of the early accusers of Harvey Weinstein, has now accused The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen of sexual assault.
The Italian actor addressed the new allegations in a recent interview with Italian media outlets and also in her upcoming autobiography Anatomy of a Wild Heart, which will be released in Italy on January 26, according to Variety. In an interview with the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, the 45-year-old claimed that she was drugged and raped by the director during the filming of XxX in 2002, revealing:
“He abused me, making me drink GHB, he had a bottle of it. At the time, I really didn’t know what it was. I woke up in the morning naked in his bed.”
In an appearance on the talk show Verissimo, she opened up about why she didn’t talk about the assault until now, explaining that, at the time, she wasn’t even sure what had happened to her.
“I discovered later, speaking with a friend who opened my eyes about that substance [GHB].”
Once she realized, the filmmaker decided that she “did not want to create another storm.” However, it wasn’t until more accusations against Cohen came out that she decided to finally come forward.
In a statement obtained by People, a spokesperson for the 71-year-old denied Argento’s allegations, saying:
“Mr. Cohen categorically denies Asia Argento’s accusation of assault against him as absolutely false. When they worked together, they had an excellent working relationship and Mr. Cohen considered her a friend, so this claim dating back to 2002 is bewildering, especially given what has been reported about her in recent years.”
This is not the first sexual assault allegation to be directed at the popular franchise director. In 2019, he was accused via a Huffington Post report of sexually assaulting a woman, who decided to remain anonymous and was given the name “Jane” at the time. She alleged that the reported assault took place in 2015 after she went to a business meeting in Manhattan with Cohen.
At the time, the screenwriter’s lawyer Martin Singer released a 13-paged statement to the outlet denying the accusation, writing:
“The proposed Story is an outrageous defamatory hit piece, making extraordinarily offensive assertions that my client engaged in heinous sexual misconduct, criminal wrongdoing, and other inappropriate behavior, which are vehemently disputed and denied by my client.”
Earlier in 2019, Cohen faced similar allegations when his daughter Valkyrie Weather accused him of molesting her when she was a child. Again, similarly, he denied the accusation.
Argento, who spoke out against Weinstein in the 2017 The New Yorker article, was accused of sexual assault by Jimmy Bennett, which she denied herself. The case was later settled after her late partner Anthony Bourdain paid the actor $380,000.
Our thoughts go out to Argento during this difficult period.
[Image via Lia Toby/WENN]