Rain Dove, the model whom actress Rose McGowan has said was responsible for handing over incriminating text messages from Asia Argento to the Los Angeles Police Department, has spoken out about why they did so.
“An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape,” Dove said in a statement to TheWrap, referring to Argento and her contact with then 17-year-old actor Jimmy Bennett in a hotel room in 2013. “As well as such they admitted to receiving continued nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action.
“When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation,” said Dove, who has been dating McGowan, who like Argento has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and emerged as a leader of the #MeToo movement.
“All victims deserve justice,” Dove added. “Justice can rarely exist without honesty.”
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Argento and her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain arranged a $380,000 monetary payment to Bennett after he accused her of sexually assaulting him as a minor. Argento publicly denied the accusations, but texts to Dove that seemed to contradict her denial were soon leaked.
Dove confirmed to TheWrap on Monday that they turned over the texts to Los Angeles authorities on the day they were received.
Dove, who is nonbinary and uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” said that they took Argento through the “systematic process” of how to prove her innocence, but they ultimately realized Argento did not have the “intention” to do the right thing.
Dove said that they found it “painful” to read Argento’s statement last week denying that she had had sex with Bennett before Argento provided it to reporters.
“In it they were dismissive of the victim, put down the integrity of the [New York Times] reporter Kim Severson utilizing the guilt power of the opinion of their deceased former partner Anthony Bourdain, and robbed all parties of their truth,” Dove wrote. “I had hoped that that narrative would change after our conversation but unfortunately the piece went straight to press.”
Dove also addressed the accusations that Bennett had “extorted” Argento by saying that “they are two different accusations and all victims of a crime deserve justice.”
“All guilty parties must be honest,” Dove said. “I would also like to state that the case between HW and Asia Argento is separate from Jimmy Bennett’s case and that Asia deserves the same respect in that case that Jimmy should receive in this one. Their choice to lie to the NYT does not mean that they are lying about HW. Their accounts for that case should be held separately and fairly.”
Read the full statement below.
“Before I begin, I would like to note to everyone that I am only making a statement in order to clarify the details in order to prevent further stress or harm from rumours or allegations to/against innocent parties. It is important to not over glorify or sensationalise the actions of any individual who comes forward with evidence in a sexual assault case because it is the basic thing one should do.
I can confirm that the text messages are indeed between Asia Argento and myself. When I reported them to police I remained silent socially because I didn’t wish to be a part of the narrative or distract from the path to justice.
While the conflict may feel murky- the situation is cut and dry. An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape. As well as such they admitted to receiving continued nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action. When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty.
In a sexual assault case it is important to support and believe the victim- while also allowing for due process. I believe all beings accused of a crime have the right to prove their innocence. For many victims of sexual assault their justice may never come in the court of law due to lack of evidence or time passage. It’s heartbreaking and cruel. However, I still fully believe in the allowance and balance of both ethos. Support and believe- allow due process.
That is why when Asia Argento asked for assistance during this case declaring full innocence, I systemically took them through the list of things they would need to clear their name. Proof that they didn’t pay off this individual, proof that they didn’t approve any payments if they had occurred, proof that they had indeed been harassed and rejected all sexual sexual advances through action or verbally, proof that they hadn’t engaged sexually via an alibi, and a few more. Occasionally in the past individuals have come to me knowing that they were guilty, they admitted the guilt off the bat, and my space in their life has been guiding them through the rehabilitation process with the community and shifting their negative actions into proactive ones so that they can be productive members of the community again while justice also prevails. The key to agreement to assist is that they have the intention to do whats necessary to rectify a situation. Unfortunately Asia did not have that intention.
This is a person who represents a certain ideal and who has called out for all those accused of sexual assault to be honest about their experiences in order to allow justice for the victims. However when the NYT statement came out, in which Asia denied any sexual engagement that’s when it became clear that they were not going to follow their own ethics. I had received the original statement from Asia before they put it out into the world, before they had admitted their sexual engagement. In it they were dismissive of the victim, put down the integrity of the reporter Kim Severson utilising the guilt power of the opinion of their deceased former partner Anthony Bourdain, and robbed all parties of their truth. It was painful to read. I had hoped that that narrative would change after our conversation but unfortunately the piece went straight to press.
Before bringing this information to police I did speak with Rose McGowan as they are the person who introduced me to Asia. I was admittedly a little nervous because I knew that Asia was an important person in Rose’s life. When confronted with the messages and knowledge that I was going to go to the police, Rose immediately agreed that it was the right action to take. No begging or bargaining. No anger. Just very matter of fact. I know this is a painful loss of community in Rose’s life and I’m proud of her dedication to the truth. Its tempting to many to cover for their loved ones during rough times, but when a victim is involved on the other end we must think of them. True justice has no bias.
I would also like to address allegations that Jimmy Bennet extorted Asia Argento by saying simply- keep both actions separate. They are two different accusations and all victims of a crime deserve justice. All guilty parties must be honest.
I would also like to state that the case between HW and Asia Argento is separate from Jimmy Bennet’s case and that Asia deserves the same respect in that case that Jimmy should receive in this one. Their choice to lie to the NYT does not mean that they are lying about HW. Their accounts for that case should be held separately and fairly.
I believe that most beings have the power to change. Asia has contributed a strong voice to the #MeToo movement and encouraged many in their nation as well as around the globe to come forward with their truths. Perhaps, despite where public opinion may be over time, through honesty, dialogue and rehabilitation this person can become a strong advocate for justice once again. Especially uniquely as a person who is experiencing both sides of the coin.
We can not let this single case crumble the power and momentum of a movement that has saved so many. Just because a person is a celebrity or more visible does not make them THE VOICE or a MORE IMPORTANT voice than any other being that has been a part of #MeToo. All are equal and their struggles equally valid- we must remember that.
Until then, let truth shine its light so we can see the way to a solution. Keep that light on patiently.