Alyssa Milano told Good Morning America that allegations of sexual assault against actress Asia Argento, a vocal member of the #MeToo movement, do not undercut the group’s efforts to expose abusers and hold them accountable.
Argento was one of the first women to level allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein last fall. This week, The New York Times obtained legal documents alleging that in 2013, Argento arranged to pay $380,000 to former child actor Jimmy Bennett, who claims that she assaulted him that year.
When asked about these allegations on Good Morning America, Milano — who has been a vocal advocate for the #MeToo movement — replied, “people that have been abused can also be abusers. That’s a sad fact.”
Milano also hit back against Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, who used the news of Argento’s alleged settlement to attack #MeToo as hypocritical. “The millions of women and men that have come forward telling their #MeToo stories cannot be erased from one story that may be hypocritical,” Milano retorted. “Movements are messy — they’re not linear.”
What’s more, Milano suggested that the allegations against Argento may actually signal that the #MeToo movement is working as it should be. “The fact that people are still coming forward and still holding people accountable for their actions — whether that be a male predator or a female predator — to me that’s a testament that the movement is working and there is progress being made,” she said.
“The #MeToo movement was built for women and by women,” Milano concluded. “And that does not stop because of one story.”
Argento has disputed Bennett’s allegations. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” she said in a statement. “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”