In the wake of sexual assault accusations against Asia Argento, CNN has pulled three episodes of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” from their streaming service featuring the actress and boyfriend of the late celebrity chef.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, CNN said they were pulling the episodes after actor Jimmy Bennett accused Argento of sexually assaulting him when he was 17 years old in 2013. CNN also pulled an episode in which Bourdain discussed his battle with depression during a visit to Buenos Aires, but did not provide an explanation.
CNN did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for further comment.
Argento had previously been a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement after coming forward last year with her own sexual assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein during the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Argento denied Bennett’s accusations, but told The Guardian that she, Bennett and Bourdain mutually agreed to handle the matter privately, with Bourdain paying Bennett $380,000 for his silence.
“Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth, and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect,” Argento said.
“Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such a person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us.”
Argento first met Bourdain during an appearance on “Parts Unknown” in 2016, when he traveled to Rome for an episode of his show’s eighth season. She appeared again two seasons later after the two started dating on an episode traveling through Southern Italy, and later directed an episode centered around Hong Kong.
“To fall in love with Asia is one thing. To fall in love in Asia is another. Both have happened to me,” Bourdain said in the Hong Kong episode, which aired one month prior to him taking his own life in June.
CNN will air the final five episodes of “Parts Unknown” starting later this month.