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McGowan apology follows false claims that Ms Argento had an inappropriate relationship with a minor

The actress Rose McGowan, a leading voice in the post-Weinstein #MeToo campaign, has issued a statement apologising for claiming that fellow #MeToo activist Asia Argento had an inappropriate relationship with a minor. The allegations were made while Asia Argento, the Italian actress and X-Factor judge, was mourning the tragic loss of her partner, chef Anthony Bourdain, who committed suicide in June this year.

Ms McGowan and her partner, a little-known model called Rain Dove, alleged that Ms Argento had acted inappropriately with actor Jimmy Bennett when Bennett was twelve years old, a claim that McGowan now acknowledges as false.

McGowan: “Facts were not correct.”

Speaking exclusively to OutNews Global, Ms Argento said, “Although I appreciate the apology and the retraction, in the meantime the heartache I have suffered in addition to losing my beloved partner Anthony Bordain has almost destroyed me.

“The shame of falsely being labelled a paedophile has led to me losing my job on X-factor Italy and I am unable to provide for my two young children. I needed to take legal action.

I still don’t understand why Rose couldn’t have done the right thing and retracted earlier when she knew she was just repeating the lies of her partner Rain Dove. I am currently seeking advice over instigating criminal proceedings against Rain Dove for deception for financial gain.”

In her apology, which followed Ms Argento instructing top London law firm Mishcon de Reya, McGowan said,

On 27 August I released a statement about Asia Argento, which I now realized contained a number of facts that were not correct. The most serious of these was that I said that the unsolicited nude text messages Asia received from Jimmy Bennett had been sent since Jimmy was 12 years old. In fact, I had misunderstood the messages that Asia exchanged with my partner Rain Dove, which made clear that Jimmy had sent Asia inappropriate text messages only after they met up again when he was 17 (still legally a minor in California, but notably different from a 12 year old).

I do not feel that it is my place to comment further on what happened at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey hotel in May 2013, save to say that I now appreciate that it was not as I thought it was previously. 

In my statement, I challenged why Asia had not acted as I think any responsible adult would if they received sexually explicit messages from a 12 year old, which of course do not apply in the same way as when the situation involves a 17 year old, who had admitted harboring misguided fantasies about their mentor since they were 12.

I deeply regret not correcting my mistake sooner and apologize to Asia for not doing so.

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Rob Harkavy

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