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Asia Argento's Time Is Up

A tale of fame, fallacy, and the perils of good intentions

It is 2003, and I am at a penthouse at Chateau Marmont, covering the wrap party for The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. Based on a book of stories by JT LeRoy, the film is directed by and stars Italian actress Asia Argento, as a truck-stop hooker. She dresses her young son, played by 7-year-old Jimmy Bennett, as a girl, rouges and lipsticks him, and, as these things go, is complicit in the boy being raped by a character Argento is sleeping with.

Tonight at the Marmont, Bennett lies entangled on the bed with Marilyn Manson. They are a passive centerpiece to those on the room's periphery—Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads, Sharon Osbourne cursing in the doorway, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon—who have for years have turned out to support LeRoy, the teenage transgender drug-addicted hooker whose literary star rose so improbably in the early '00s. He is a survivor, a fragile one; Lou Reed and Winona Ryder do readings on his behalf. JT at this moment, dressed per usual in Andy Warhol white wig, sits drunk and crumpled in the corner of the room, until a woman with flame-red hair and kabuki make-up orders him to stand up and have his picture taken, after which he slumps back down.

The woman is Laura Albert, who will soon be exposed as a literary hoaxer, the person who wrote the books and spoke on the phone to the famous in the voice of JT, who drafted her young sister-in-law as his body double, who confected the damaged, outré, beautiful victim that proved irresistible to the cognoscenti. When they find out, they will be angry.

But not tonight. Tonight, Laura holds my hands and says she wants me to write about JT. Argento sneers when I ask whether she can prove JT is real. No grown up that I can see is watching out for Bennett, who looks as unmoored as your average 8-year-old would at 10 p.m., with a man with one blue eye and one black rearranging your limbs just so.

It is 2007, and Laura Albert is telling me "the whole JT thing" was just a bit of fun, how when "we went to the New York Post and we told them Asia Argento was pregnant with JT LeRoy's baby, we did that with Asia on the phone." Albert laughs when she says this. Less fun is the betrayal people tell Albert they now feel, for having offered sympathy and support to JT, someone they saw as a victim. Albert dismisses their concerns, saying she felt just as deserving of love as the character she created, and, while she was never able to substantiate the abuse she said she endured at the hands of various people as a child, she did at the time she created JT weigh 320 pounds and feel suicidal and as far as she is concerned, it should not matter if the person you're helping is not the person you think he is.

It is July 2016, and Argento tells The Guardian that she had been completely tricked by Laura Albert. "I'm a fool! How could I not see it? It made me feel worthless to be honest....I was fucking manipulated."

It is September 2016, and Argento tells The New York Times, in regard to Albert having secretly taped their phone conversations about the hoax and used them in the documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story, "This is downright evil and disturbing....I am very angry."

It is October 2017, and Argento tells Ronan Farrow, writing for The New Yorker, that when she was 21, a producer brought her to what she thought would be a party in the French hotel room of Harvey Weinstein. There was no party and, after the producer left, she was alone with Weinstein. He was wearing a bathrobe and asked her to give him a massage. She did, after which she reluctantly let Weinstein perform oral sex on her.

"The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible," she tells Farrow. She also tells Farrow that for years she continued to have consensual sex with Weinstein because, well, victimology is complicated. Still, she can say today that the whole thing created "horrible trauma....I've been damaged." Farrow will go on to win a Pulitzer for his reporting, and Argento and others, notably actress Rose McGowan, who alleged that Weinstein raped her in 1997, will be celebrated for speaking out. Both women explain they did not come forth sooner because they feared, with cause, professional sabotage and personal retaliation from Weinstein. Both become figureheads of the burgeoning #MeToo movement.

Argento is celebrated not least by her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, who had fallen in love with her on-air during the filming of a 2016 episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Bourdain heralds Argento's bravery; he has her direct an episode of his show, and tells the Hollywood Reporter in May 2018, "As you might have guessed, I already have an Asia Argento tattoo."

It is June 8, and Anthony Bourdain is found dead in a hotel room in France; he had hanged himself with the belt of his bathrobe. Argento tweets later that day, in part, "He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated." On June 11, Rose McGowan speaks for her friend, a letter posted in The Hollywood Reporter that begins, "Sitting across from me is the remarkable human and brave survivor, Asia Argento, who has been through more than most could stand, and yet stand she does. She stood up to her monster rapist and now she has to stand up to yet another monster, suicide. The suicide of her beloved lover and ally, Anthony Bourdain. I write these truths because I have been asked to." Perhaps as a way to preemptively stave off criticism of Argento seen in more-than-chummy photos with another man several days earlier, McGowan adds, "Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships."

Argento receives an outpouring of sympathy and support. But not from Leah McSweeney, who, writing for Penthouse on June 27, calls what "unfolded in the wake of Bourdain's death a display of chronic, predatory narcissism from Argento and McGowan. These two women have used and abused the #MeToo movement—which they have been at the front lines of since the beginning—for their own personal gain."

It is Sunday, August 19, and the Times publishes an article claiming that Argento had sex with Jimmy Bennett in 2013, when the boy was 17. (The age of consent in California is 18.) Argento was 37 when she had Bennett meet her in a hotel room, sent away the relative who had driven him, gave the boy alcohol, and performed oral sex on him. Afterwards they had intercourse. She then had him take some photos. The piece includes the information that in November 2017 Bennett demanded from Argento $3.5 million "in damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery."

On Tuesday Argento releases a statement in which she maintains she said "I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett" and that an arranged $380,000 in payments to Bennett, whose acting prospects had dried up, was something, "Anthony [Bourdain] personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life." There is online hypothesizing that perhaps this was what Argento meant when she called Bourdain her rock and protector; also, some revulsion at Argento shunting responsibility to her dead boyfriend.

On Wednesday, TMZ releases texts between Argento and a friend from two days earlier, in which Argento wrote, "I had sex with him it felt weird. I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter." There is a selfie purportedly taken at the time of the encounter, showing Argento and Bennett unclothed, in bed, looking decidedly post-coital.

Argento's situation causes cultural handwringing and confusion and think pieces aplenty. Two editors at New York magazine's The Cut have an anguished tête-à-tête about Argento and #MeToo. ("I feel like screaming, THIS DOESN'T MEAN ALL RAPE ACCUSATIONS ARE FAKE!'") Bari Weiss at The New York Times opens an essay about women and agency, "Women are hypocrites. Women are opportunists. Women are liars. They are abusers and bullies and manipulators. They are capable of cruelty, callousness and evil. Just like men." S.E. Cupp writes in the NY Daily News: "#MeToo must not flinch in face of allegations against Asia Argento: Abuses of power are wrong no matter who commits them."

On Twitter, Rose McGowan defends her friend: "I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken..." And, in a separate tweet, "None of us know the truth of the situation and I'm sure more will be revealed. Be gentle." Perhaps she got some pushback. "Oh for fuck's sake I'm not defending," was her next (and thus far final) tweet on the situation.

Bennett, through his attorney, says that he had been "afraid and ashamed" to speak out prior to November 2017; prior, also, to Argento receiving a lot of sunshine as a leading figure in the #MeToo movement and having a rich boyfriend.

As of Tuesday night, Argento goes to ground.

Also on Tuesday, Laura Albert noses back on the stage, tweeting and posting on Facebook, in part, "I claim BS on you Argento! I might be the one person not scared of you. I know, as do many others, what went down on The Heart is Deceitful set and in Italy, etc. I might have been slamming gelato, but you were slamming something else… I also remember the line from my books you loved, 'Everybody needs someone to know who they really are.' I KNOW who you REALLY are. You have no business trying to co-opt a movement that you participated in with glee…Your time is up."

Photo Credit: Lapone/Fotogramma/Ropi/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • John||

    What did Bourdaine see in that skank? Rarely is the word "skank" appropriate. But wow is it when talking about Argento. She is just nasty looking. There is literally nothing attractive about her. Not only do men think with their dicks, their dicks don't think much either.

  • Idle Hands||

    She sounds crazy. So maybe he mistakenly saw fun crazy that was actually just crazy crazy. let he without sin cast the first stone.

  • John||

    You would think a famous TV personality and author could get fun crazy that came in a more attractive package.

  • Finchster||

    Ironically, that would have been Rose McGowan back in the day.
    https://tinyurl.com/y97n5rme

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Wow!

  • Robo||

    She was super hot.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Take it from me, fun crazy always turns bad crazy. Always.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, I remember that from my "Man 101" class:

    Professor: Okay, that ends todays lecture. To recap: Into what do we not stick our dicks?
    Student 1: Yeti!
    Student 2: Gravy!!
    Student 3: Marmosets!!
    Professor: Marmosets??
    Student 3: Sorry, I meant "mammograms"!
    Student 1: Yeti!
    Student 2: Churches?
    Student 4: Umm..."crazy"?
    Professor: Ah. Very good. "Crazy". We do not...
    Student 2: Even "fun crazy"?
    Professor: "fun crazy" is a myth, son. There is no such...
    Student 1: Like Yeti, then?
    Student 2: Like churches!
    Student 3: On-topic hypothetical, Professor: Let's say I have a date with someone who calls herself "Reality Winner", and...
    Professor: Hypothetically, does she have a real name?
    Student 3: Oh, say...Asia Argento. And...
    Professor: You're all fucked.

  • ||

    Not bad.

  • Fancylad||

    I chuckled

  • ThomasD||

    Consider the profound levels of self hate held by Bourdain and you'll recognize that he saw exactly what everyone else saw.

  • John||

    He seemed to have a nice wife and a beautiful daughter who he dumped for a crazy talentless skank. Yeah, self hatred is probably the best explanation.

  • The_Hoser||

    Perhaps he was just as big an asshole as Argento.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Probably another reason not to try heroin.

  • ||

    But wow is it when talking about Argento. She is just nasty looking. There is literally nothing attractive about her.

    She's certainly making Harvey Weinstein look human.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    John's comment is slave morality at its finest.

  • Azriel||

    No, it actually isn't at all.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I hope this is sarcasm. If not, I suggest you take a hard look at the mirror and realize you indeed are not an ubermensch.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    "Skank" is definitely a fetish...

  • WhatYouMightNotKnow||

    So she "let" Weinstein perform oral sex on her at their first meeting which was in his bedroom... Maybe the word is "needy", not narcissistic.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    I don't know why you think Bourdaine had such high standards that he would find Argento unacceptable.

  • Number 2||

    Certainly gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "love wins," doesn't it?

  • Wise Old Fool||

    You're wrong, she's very attractive. Attractiveness has nothing to do with the content of character however.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    She was 37 when Bennett took a pick of the two of them together and she looks good, best pic I've seen. In the last 5 years she's turned to shit and aged 20 to 25 years.

  • josh||

    Well, he was suicidal.

  • Vernon Depner||

    I am pleased to know that these repulsive people make each other miserable. Other than that, who gives a shit?

  • ThomasD||

    Speaking of which, has anyone seen or heard from Robby lately?

  • Antilles||

    Why are so many people intent on turning young men into victims and women into criminals? The fact is a woman can't rape a man because they lack the physical strength to impose their will. And when I was a teenage boy, I spent most of my time fantasizing about having sex with older women.

  • MotörSteve||

    This is pretty much my takeaway from this story. I mean, when did 17 year old boys start *complaining* about getting laid?

  • ||

    There's a whole genre of movies dedicated to that exact narrative.

  • Antilles||

    Correct. And if anyone ever did a comedy about an underage girl hooking up with an older guy then people would freak out. People need to stop pretending there's a double standard.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yeah, try to get away with a public screening of "Pretty Baby" these days.

  • Vernon Depner||

    ...or, with making a movie about a teenage BOY hooking up with an older man.

  • TomDale||

    Actually, there are also movies and shows on teenage girls with older guys. Remember American Beauty, that 1999 movie which made $350 million, featuring a middle-aged dad who was fixated on a high school girl, the best friend of his teenage daughter?

  • Seamus||

    Does anyone remember "Summer of '42"? I thought it was dreadful, primarily because of the ridiculous notion that a war widow, on learning that her husband has died in combat, immediately seeks comfort by getting it on with a 15-year-old boy. (I don't care if Herman Raucher claims it literally happened to him. I don't even care if it *did* happen to him. Fiction, unlike reality, has to make sense, and this just didn't make sense.) But no one in 1971 (when the movie came out) thought for a moment that the boy had been victimized. If anything, it was the widow whose vulnerability had been exploited.

  • Antilles||

    I LOVED that movie as a kid (I was 8 when it aired on network TV mostly uncut). I related a lot to the main character and for many years wished something like that would happen to me. Alas, it never did.

  • TomDale||

    Strange that our gender roles have been so twisted today due to identity politics, victimhood culture and post-modern feminism.

    Although ironically, aren't teenage girls supposed to be more mature than their male counterparts? So some might argue that in theory, they are better-equipped to enter the world than boys are, not less.

  • Longtobefree||

    When it became worth millions?

  • ||

    I mean, when did 17 year old boys start *complaining* about getting laid?

    What makes you think Asia Argentos is complaining about receiving cunnilingus from Harvey Weinstein?

  • John C. Randolph||

    She claims that Weinstein raped her. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that counts as a complaint.

    -jcr

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Rule of thumb: if you are free to travel and go back for seconds, it ain't rape

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    UC: "Rule of thumb: if you are free to travel and go back for seconds, it ain't rape"

    You'd think no sane prosecutor would take that case. In fact that if s/he tried it would be no-billed or struck off (or, if it got that far, result in a quick NG verdict). But what do I know?

    Now in university hearings, guys have been penalized for bizarre allegations. In a case from Brown university, a woman decided months after the event -- months with favorable emails about the encounter -- that she had been raped . And the guy was found guilty by campus authorities.

    This article is from the Weekly Standard, which is right-biased, but there are similar stories at Slate and The Atlantic, which are left-biased.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    McGowan says Weinstein raped her. According to this article, Argento says she reluctantly returned for consensual sex.

    Reading the description of the party at the beginning of this piece further cements my opinion that most people in Hollywood are fucked up.

    When I heard this story the other day I thought "How could have sex with a woman in her 30's mess up a 17 year old guy that badly?" I think the answer is he was already messed up and perhaps after his fling with Argento he realized how screwed up he was.

    Why would he ask her for money? Again, read this article. He was 7 years old when cast as a boy who's sexually abused. Of course (or so I believe) nothing would actually happen in the filming, but maybe he gets to watch the movie. Then I read here about how he attends grown up parties, lying on beds with adults.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    I read Argento's texts to her friend, where I presume she didn't have motive to lie. She said Bennett came on to her, saying that she had been his crush since he was 12. With what I know now, that's believable. She described him getting on top of her and doing it. She went along but didn't seem to enjoy it. I wonder if she ever enjoys sex, or if any of these people do, or how many girls and women Bennett had between the age of 12 and 17. And Argento explained that she thought he was of age because in most countries in Europe (she's from Italy) the age of consent is 16 and she tells the friend about how she spent several months with a 33 year old man when she was 17 (so no big deal)

    The description of the movie on IMDB sounded quite dark and disturbing. But as I said, not just the movie, but likely from age 7 onwards Bennett was in this life style. Then at 17 he finally does it with his crush, the woman 20 years older than him who once played his mother in a movie, and maybe finally he thought "What the fuck have I gotten myself into?" and blamed her, and wanted millions, as she brought him into that scene a decade before.

  • ||

    And Argento explained that she thought he was of age because in most countries in Europe (she's from Italy) the age of consent is 16 and she tells the friend about how she spent several months with a 33 year old man when she was 17 (so no big deal)

    Which makes what Harvey Weinstein did when she was 22-23 much less of anything resembling an actual rape and more of just a social faux pas.

    The guy's a scumbag. She's just as bad or worse. This should've surprised no one about the #MeToo movement. It isn't and wasn't about making things better, doing away with evil people, it was just about replacing one corrupt power structure with the next.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Of course (or so I believe) nothing would actually happen in the filming

    I'm not so sure about that. Corey Haim is alleged by credible sources to have been raped on the set of the movie Lucas. Mario van Peebles has said that the infamous sex scene he appeared in at the age of 13 in his father's movie Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song was not exactly simulated and that the experience ruined his relationship with his father.

  • ||

    I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that counts as a complaint.

    You don't have to be a lawyer to judge a complaint... or its veracity.

  • JoeB||

    Not complaining. Cashing in. Totally different. Smart business move.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    MotorSteve: "when did 17 year old boys start *complaining* about getting laid?"

    When they found there was money in it. You get sex /and/ you get money out of it. In porn fiction it's even better. The underage kid blackmails the (more or less "innocent," but certainly dweebish) adult into being a sex slave.

  • NoVaNick||

    Following the rule of law here-he was below the age of consent at the time, and who knows if he, or any of the other boys who get seduced by older women actually want it, or are just going along. The stuff she did to him when he was 7 in that movie was pretty fucked up too.

  • NoVaNick||

    For me, I would definitely have banged an older woman when I was 17, but I am not this kid.

  • Dillinger||

    .

  • Antilles||

    While I support age of consent laws for young women (since far more men tend to be manipulative predators) I don't think they should apply to young men who are capable of both defending themselves and consenting. Several times in my life I was pressured into having sex I didn't want, but I don't consider myself a victim. I could have physically shoved them away but it was easier to just go along with it.

  • Just Say'n||

    That's nice for you, individually, and I tend to agree personally. But, segregating laws based off of sex is the height of idiocy, especially based upon broad generalizations.

  • Antilles||

    Then perhaps it should require someone to file a complaint with the police rather than the police just automatically prosecuting the woman. If I'd been lucky enough to hook up with an older woman as a teen I would have felt guilty for the rest of my life if she got arrested and had her life ruined.

  • Just Say'n||

    Ok. Well in this case the 17 year-old boy doesn't feel that way. I still don't understand how your two-tiered legal regime makes any sense.

  • Antilles||

    Young women are delicate and fragile and require more laws and protections. Young men can take care of themselves.

  • Just Say'n||

    This is quite the troll. *hat tip*

  • Antilles||

    It's not trolling if I'm being sincere, which I am. My last girlfriend was raped while we were together and the experience was so traumatic for her that she had a complete mental breakdown and had to be temporarily institutionalized. She never recovered, and the ordeal destroyed our 5-year relationship. I can honestly say that I would not have reacted the same if a woman had somehow forced me to have sex. Men and women are different.

  • Azriel||

    "It's not trolling if I'm being sincere, which I am. "

    Nah, no one is actually that stupid.

  • McCackie||

    She "said" she was raped.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    In 9 months he would've been legal (in California it's illegal for anyone under 18 to have sex, even with each other, but millions of them do anyway) How much more mature was he after that additional 9 months? I'm very skeptical of these bright lines, one size fits all. If it's 16 in Europe and there's no obvious downfall, why should other places insist on 18?

  • CE||

    All 50 states aren't even the same. It's arbitrary.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Not allowing the law to recognize that men and women are different is idiocy.

  • Antilles||

    Exactly. No one seems to have a problem with women's nipples being illegal to show in public but not men's. Plus guys have to register for the draft and women don't.

  • Azriel||

    "No one seems to have a problem with women's nipples being illegal to show in public but not men's. "

    They don't?

  • Dillinger||

    totes. free the springfield two!

  • Vernon Depner||

    Are laws against nipples still common? It's not illegal in my state, but I don't know if that's the norm these days.

  • Antilles||

    They're illegal to show in almost every state. Even in the few places where it's legal women who do it often still get arrested because the cops don't know the law. They get released without charge, but we all know the process is the punishment. Plus, they're still forbidden on basic cable and network TV.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    What, you want to destroy the pasty industry?

  • Seamus||

    Laws that apply generally kinda have to rely on broad generalizations, don't they? Making distinctions between underage males and underage females is just making those generalizations a little less broad.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The DAs and courts are spraining their brains trying to make sense of the laws they have. Giving them a second level of difficulty would pretty much bring the system to a grinding halt.

    Come to think of it ….

  • ||

    Is this OBL-style (self-)satire?

  • Antilles||

    Nope. I'm being absolutely sincere.

  • Azriel||

    Nah, you aren't this stupid.

  • Qsl||

    Well, you could start with how much more manipulable boys are in matters of sexuality. While it may take promises of fame or a hefty payout to goad girls into sex, boys are goaded into most anything with sex, especially in relation to a far more experienced woman.

    And as far as fragility, a basic perusal of suicide statistics for that age group suggests otherwise (although I'm certain all those were manly suicides).

    Nor is there any reason to stop differentiation of the law with solely sex/gender. We could have a tiered law system taking into account everything from social economic class to historically oppressed peoples to body composition. SJWs could finally take libertarians into their warm bosom for finally seeing the light.

    Women are different, and should enjoy every consideration civilization has to offer, from preferential treatment in criminal cases ("poor dear didn't know what she was doing") to a general deferment with every interaction.

  • Antilles||

    It's the feminists who are pushing the narrative that women must be protected, provided with trigger warnings, safe spaces, and coloring books--and who am I to disagree? While it's true that guys kill themselves at 4x the rate as women, it's women who ATTEMPT suicide at nearly twice the rate as men. That fact speaks volumes about the mental stability of many women.

  • Qsl||

    Peach.

    And when feminist also declare all sex is rape or black nationalist all whites are racist, will you still give the same deference? Think carefully now.

    The common conception of female suicide rates is that the attempts are often "a call for help", which could be dissected a half a dozen different ways, most of which point to special consideration given to women, none of which speak specifically to mental instability. Further suicide attempts/rates among homosexuals are higher still. Better get ready to bake that cake.

    As it is, there is a push among some feminist to end all criminal charges against women and release all women from from prison, which is the logical endpoint for "women are different".

    And who are you to disagree?

  • Antilles||

    My original point is that men are far more resilient to traumatic experiences and shouldn't be treated the same as women. Bad stuff has happened to me but I just bury it away, try not to dwell on it, and maybe numb myself with booze and weed. Women seem to have a hard time doing that and often need help dealing with their issues--which is OK. It just annoys me that so many people are trying to paint young men as victims just because they engaged in a consensual romp with an older woman. Prosecuting women for this 'crime' is a relatively new phenomenon. It's always gone on, but only recently has it been considered a problem.

  • Vernon Depner||

    which is the logical endpoint for "women are different".

    No, it isn't. There is no logical connection between "women are different" and "women are never criminally responsible for their actions".

  • Antilles||

    That's right. Women commit far fewer violent crimes and pose less of a threat to society. It makes sense that their prison sentences would be shorter. And ask any hetero guy if he'd rather be raped by a man or a woman, and they will always choose a woman. Why? Because it's not as bad.

  • Qsl||

    Criminally responsible and criminally responsible requiring adjudication are indeed two different things.

    I mean if there are separate legal standards for men and women, exactly how and by what justification do you set the standard for women or any other group that are not white hetero men? Further, per Antilles reference to feminist, by what right should any man have any say in the legal jurisprudence of women? The are so different they require a separate law by virtue of being women alone. How could you possibly understand?

  • Vernon Depner||

    exactly how and by what justification do you set the standard

    By engaging in reasoning based on facts.

  • JoeB||

    Are homosexual men more successful at suicide than homosexual women. Maybe men are better at completing tasks in general.

  • Vernon Depner||

    There may be something to that, in way. With women, being suicidal and being ineffectual and helpless in general tend to go together. I don't think that's generally true of suicidal men.

  • damikesc||

    While it's true that guys kill themselves at 4x the rate as women, it's women who ATTEMPT suicide at nearly twice the rate as men. That fact speaks volumes about the mental stability of many women.

    Women want the attention while boys ACTUALLY have the problems?

  • Trollificus||

    "SJWs could finally take libertarians into their warm, sweaty, pimply, tatted-up bosoms for finally seeing the light. (now obscured by said bosoms)"

    FTFY

  • Mark22||

    While I support age of consent laws for young women (since far more men tend to be manipulative predators)

    Men are just violent predators.

    Women are manipulative predators. Most commonly, they'll entrap young males into unwanted fatherhood.

  • Antilles||

    "Most commonly, they'll entrap young males into unwanted fatherhood."

    Yes, this is a problem. And it's very hypocritical for the system to force underage males to pay child support to their 'rapist.' But I've long advocated that men should have the right to opt-out of fatherhood. They would lose visitation rights but they also wouldn't have to pay support for a child they don't want.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yep. If a woman chooses to make and keep a baby, the man whose sperm was used should have no responsibility for the child unless he was married to her or contracted to accept responsibility.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    There is something called "personal responsibility" that is an establish pillar of libertarianism. If you can poke with it you can also put it in a rain jacket.

  • Antilles||

    What if the woman claims to be on the pill but is lying? Women have the choice to opt out of motherhood--men should have that right too.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Women don't suffer any such "personal responsibility". They can use contraception with or without a man's knowledge or consent; they are under no obligation to tell a man they are pregnant; they can use a "morning after" pill; they can abort the pregnancy later; they can surrender the baby to the state and walk away, no questions asked (in most states); and the can put the child up for adoption later without asking the consent of a father they are not married to. The man has no say in any of that, unless he has voluntarily accepted responsibility by marrying the woman or otherwise contracting to that effect. That is as it should be. This is an example of what I mean when I say the law needs to recognize the differences between men and women. It is women who make the babies, so they have, and should have, all the rights in the process. The man does not and should not have any say in whether she bears the baby to term or keeps it. If the law recognized the differing roles of men and women in reproduction, then the rights of both men and women to never be forced into parenthood without their consent could be protected. As it is, with the law insisting against the facts that men and women are equal partners in making babies, women are safe from coerced parenthood but men are not.

  • Mark22||

    That is as it should be.

    What isn't as it should be, however, is that in many cases, either the father or the tax payers are on the hook for supporting the woman financially, regardless of their consent. Individual women should bear the financial consequences of their choices themselves, not forcibly extracting resources from men who had no part in their reproductive choices.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Something something Catholic Church...

    Male or female, some predators are violent, some are manipulative, some are both.

    -jcr

  • Mark22||

    Statistically, female predators are overwhelmingly manipulative and male predators are overwhelmingly violent.

  • DavidKennerly||

    You're going to need to define "predator" before you can hope to support such a statement and in a way in which it comports to legal definitions (and the definitions will surprise you). Actually, no actual "violence" is required to be adjudged a "sexually violent predator" in the U.S. only for the younger party to be below an arbitrary age which varies from state-to-state. Doesn't matter if he gave personal consent (not to be confused with "legal" consent) or not. The younger partner could have been up for it enthusiastically and you could be the gentlest bloke in the world whose sole desire is to perform fellatio. It doesn't matter. Under these Catherine MacKinnon-inspired laws that have swept the country over the last quarter-century, you're a "sexually violent predator" and can be locked-up in a number of states for life AFTER you have already served your prison term. That's the reality. I work together with National Association for the Reform of Sex Offender Laws.

  • DavidKennerly||

    And some are neither. Some aren't even "predators" in that they neither "stalk" nor "consume their prey" and are really nice guys up for some underage fun. It must be said. They're all lumped together because the laws and the press and the zeitgeist, by forcing this mask of villainy upon all of them, indiscriminately, and regardless of their true personality and relational style, can no longer discern those who are non-violent and respectful from the really scary ones. They're all made to look the same in the eyes of the world. That should be seen as a problem that results in a poorly-informed public.

  • John C. Randolph||

    nice guys up for some underage fun.

    Oh, for fuck's sake. When did NAMBLA start hanging out on H&R?

    -jcr

  • FlameCCT||

    IIRC underage males are not as "mature" as underage females although I do understand your point. Unfortunately we cannot set different ages of consent for male/female. Hell, IIUC not even car insurance can discriminate nowadays although it used to be more expensive for males than females until age 25 based on the supposed maturity differences not to mention the fact that more guys liked driving muscles cars and doing stupid things to impress the girls.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    17 year old guys want it.

  • perlchpr||

    So your position is literally "No woman is stronger than any man".

    OK, then.

  • Antilles||

    I never said that. But the average woman is weaker than the average man, or teenage boy. My ex girlfriend was a robust Samoan woman half my age, and once when she tried to stab me with a kitchen knife I was surprised at how easy it was for me to overpower her and pry it from her hand.

  • ||

    My ex girlfriend was a robust Samoan woman half my age

    I like your ideas and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Antilles||

    When I first met her she was working as a stripper and I was in the throes of a mid-life crisis.

    Wish I could take credit for making this up, but I don't have that good of an imagination. I'm simply writing down stuff that actually happened.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Still got her number? Asking for a friend.

  • Antilles||

    I do, but she's trouble. I had to get away from her before she destroyed my life--which she nearly did.

  • zazoo||

    'Samoan stripper'?

    Don't they start at 200 lbs and go up from there. Or is that Tonga ?

  • damikesc||

    However, a man hitting a woman gets a markedly harsher punishment than a woman hitting a man. When I left my fiancee, I had to actually take a beating because I recognized that if I hit her back once, I'd be going to jail and she'd likely get off entirely.

  • Fats of Fury||

    You should have added the $380,000 payoff to your fantasies.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Did you spend your time fantasizing about fucking an older woman who had been a surrogate mother to you since you were 7?

    She had been in his life since he was 7. 7 fucking years old.

    That's Padme level icky. And you know where that leads.

  • Antilles||

    They weren't actually related, so I don't see what the problem is. Yeah, it's kinda icky. But I try not to judge.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    I'm not concerned about and I seriously doubt that a 17 year old guy banging a woman in her 30's, by itself, is going to cause him mental anguish and harm. I think it's going to Hollywood parties populated with perverts from the time he was 7 that screwed him up. She brought him into that lifestyle, and that's most likely why he wanted her to pay damages.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    You haven't know some of the women and men that I've known. I know some female weight lifters who could make small men "take it like a man". However as a rule of thumb a typical woman is not going to overpower a typical man, but don't act like it can't happen.

  • Antilles||

    I never suggested it couldn't happen, just that it was very unlikely. When I mentioned to my coworkers that it wasn't possible for a woman to rape a man because of the strength difference, they brought up Ronda Rousey. To which I asked, "Why would any guy resist having sex with Ronda Rousey?"

  • The_Hoser||

    They've seen her "acting?"

  • FlameCCT||

    They don't care if she is acting, in or out of bed! ;-)

  • RonGood||

    Re: "I never suggested it couldn't happen, just that it was very unlikely."

    Who was in command of your keyboard when this was written under your name, then?

    "The fact is a woman can't rape a man because they lack the physical strength to impose their will"?

    Whoever wrote that didn't say it was very unlikely--they flat out stated it couldn't happen.

    And they are wrong.

  • Oli||

    You don't need physical strength to rape somebody. Also, I'm pretty sure teenage-you didn't fantasize about having sex with a smelly, fat 60 year old hag. Because the point of rape is, you don't get to choose your rapist.

  • Robo||

    Exactly. While I'm not fully onboard about her Weinstein story (think many women "reluctantly" though consensually did things with them hoping for fame. The ol I regret what I did so now it's rape story.) I have to call bullshit on this "boy" being "abused". At 17 I was banging anything I could get ahold of. I don't have illusions that any of the older women abused or took advantage of me. On the contrary, I learned a lot.

  • FlameCCT||

    He was abused by Asia, the way Asia was abused by Harvey. Both were hoping to gain support/status in the film industry.

  • RonGood||

    Re: "The fact is a woman can't rape a man because they lack the physical strength to impose their will."

    Wrongo.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "It is 2003, and I am at a penthouse at Chateau Marmont, covering the wrap party for The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things."

    Dr. Manhattan got away with speaking that way, because as far as he was concerned, time was just another dimension. He was living every moment of his life at the same time.

    Unless you've been disintegrated and put yourself back together, you should say "In 2003, I was at a penthouse at Chateau Marmont, covering the wrap party for The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things."

  • ||

    Unless you've been disintegrated and put yourself back together

    Literally or metaphorically? #MeToo

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    Reaaon has always been in need of a good copy editor. Perhaps you should apply.

  • Longtobefree||

    Never tell a time lord when it is - - - - - - -

  • buybuydandavis||

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    This is what happens when your magazine goes Woketarian.

    Not only the idiotic politics, but the annoying, pretentious, self absorbed writings styles.

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't understand. Robbie informed us that we were all just prudes for not understanding how awesomely normal it was for her to sleep with a 17 year-old boy?

  • Cy||

    If this logic were applied equally, High School Female Volleyball coach jobs would be auctioned off for millions.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Ignoring the differences between males and females is not logical.

  • Just Say'n||

    So much for individualism when it contrasts with your conservative values

  • Vernon Depner||

    I'm much more of a fan of reality than of doctrines.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    It's not all it's cracked up to be.

    /former Coach, constantly recruited to return

  • Trollificus||

    I can understand the constant recruitment, with a name like "Coach 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed".

    I bet you have to beat their mothers off with a stick. So to speak.

  • Dillinger||

    funny.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Ask anyone, I deliver.

  • FlameCCT||

    "I bet you have to beat their mothers off with a stick."

    Was that dyslexia while typing?

  • Weygand||

    Is that not the fucking truth or what??????

  • AaronBonn||

    Robbie absolutely did not say it was "awesomely normal" for her to sleep with a 17 year old boy.

  • ||

    You do realize sometimes Robby's hair ghost writes for him right?

  • buybuydandavis||

    I thought that Robby was The Hair's ghostwriter.

  • TomDale||

    Everyone should strive to follow their local laws and regulations, but it must be said, a 17-year-old person, male or female, is not much biologically different from someone a year older.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I suppose the Albert/LeRoy/Chateau Marmont party has to real. It is too stupidly absurd, corrupt and decadent to be acceptable fiction.

    The thing with being a victim, is you only are a victim to the extent that you do not have an acceptable way out. You are responsible for what you deem unacceptable. From the description given, the only thing unacceptable was possible damage to her career prospects and that is not even made clear that that was at stake. Argento may feel responsible for being used by a pig because she set a very low standard for not objecting to being used.

  • ||

    Argento may feel responsible for being used by a pig because she set a very low standard for not objecting to being used.

    There's also an aspect that being a victim of Weinstein in such a manner trumps or cleanses the guilt of being an enabler. I'm still a little bit confused as to how voluntary massage in exchange for oral sex constitutes 'being used'. There's also the rather distinct possibility that she's acting like she feels responsible.

  • JoeB||

    Trump has nothing to do with this.

  • M.L.||

    Who?

  • Rich||

    Tonight at the Marmont, Bennett lies entangled on the bed with Marilyn Manson. They are a passive centerpiece to those on the room's periphery—Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads, Sharon Osbourne cursing in the doorway, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon—who have for years have turned out to support LeRoy, the teenage transgender drug-addicted hooker whose literary star rose so improbably in the early '00s. He is a survivor, a fragile one; Lou Reed and Winona Ryder do readings on his behalf. JT at this moment, dressed per usual in Andy-Warhol white wig, sits drunk and crumpled in the corner of the room, until a woman with flame-red hair and kabuki make-up orders him to stand up and have his picture taken, after which he slumps back down.

    Shades of "Naked Lunch"!

  • DamnDirtyApe||

    Repulsive assholes.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    Interesting piece. I think what some in the general public don't realize is the volume of masquerading that goes on in some segments of show business. Below the lines show business, which can involve the music, film, television, fashion and publishing industries, are mostly workers. Blue-collar types with certain skill sets whose function is to perform a job and get paid for it. But above the lines are people who often don't appear all as they seem. People with diffuse boundaries, or none, and with gaping holes of personality that make them a bit like one-man or one-woman event horizons. The key is, among themselves they all know who they are, and are drawn to each other like electrons in a covalent bond. Repulsed and attracted at the same time. Game recognize game, as the kids say.

    Laura Albert (aka JT Leroy), Argento, Bourdain, Weinstein, Rose McGowan all likely have more things in common than they do not. Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Argento are now both alleged rapists as well as reliable and unreliable narrators, like the others, as characters in their own stories.

    The public, as Ms. Albert/JT refers to when she writes of Ms. Argento "I KNOW who you REALLY are", generally has no idea about the masquerade beneath the masquerade beneath the masquerade going on behind the curtains. Anthony Bourdain, it seems after spending most of his adult life behind his own, seems to have finally realized they can only give cover for what's happening behind them for so long.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Laura Albert (aka JT Leroy), Argento, Bourdain, Weinstein, Rose McGowan all likely have more things in common than they do not. Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Argento are now both alleged rapists as well as reliable and unreliable narrators, like the others, as characters in their own stories."

    Super interesting point. Spot on.

  • ||

    OK, I gotta ask, how in the fucking fuck does someone, especially a woman, "reluctantly let [someone] perform oral sex on her"?*

    Seriously, because I can see how a guy might let another guy suck his dick just 'cause he was just so horny (TMI?:) but no chick I was ever with ever let me eat her pussy unless she was all in.

    *the same question occurred to me at the Mike Tyson rape trial.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Go on...

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I keep seeing the name "Asia Argento"... so, she was Anthony Bourdaine's girlfriend?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Girlfriend, gold-digger, bitch who drove him to suicide, who can tell?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Jesus for the love or mercy the abyss of immorality and stupidity among these people.

  • ||

    "...No grown up that I can see is watching out for Bennett, who looks as unmoored as your average 8 year-old would at 10 p.m.,"

    Where the fuck were his parents?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Doing rails of blow in the back?

  • ||

    Their debauchery reminds me of this scene in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0APF3SO9tqE

    DON'T LOOK! KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'm having trouble even interpreting this article. It's not that it's poorly written, it's just that it seems like I'm walking into the middle of a conversation with a bunch of people I know nothing about, but feel like I am supposed to.

  • Number 2||

    I am having trouble understanding what a woman in her 30s once with a 17-year-old teenage boy that she could not get with someone closer to her age.

  • Mickey Rat||

    He may have been more emotionally mature than her.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Savage.

  • Longtobefree||

    Turn this around:
    "you don't like weak women, you get bored too quick.
    you don't like strong women, 'cause they're hip to your tricks"

  • Long Woodchippers||

    Both of them probably were. As I understand it, they were going to work on another film together and reunited in a hotel in LA and had a one night stand.

    For allegedly being raped by her, he took a pic of the two of them, said to be post-coital, where he's grinning and she looks stoned.

  • TomDale||

    Maybe I guess the same reason why some older men like to date younger women. Some guys just find a college-aged female more attractive than a middle-aged woman.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Woketarian prose. Get used to it at the new Woke Reason.

    Mainstream lefty magazines have been shoveling out this annoying stream of self consciousness garbage for decades.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I already have an Asia Argento tattoo."

    Jesus, Tony, I took you as more grown up than this.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is easy to confuse world weariness with mental maturity.

  • Mark22||

    Italian actress Asia Argento, ... She also tells Farrow that for years she continued to have consensual sex with Weinstein because, well, victimology is complicated.

    Hun, you're not a victim, you're a loose woman and a gold digger.

  • buybuydandavis||

    #MeToo is how they squeeze a little more fame from their youthful prostitution for fame.

  • damikesc||

    Yeah, rape doesn't include years of consensual sex afterwards.

    If consensual sex follows at all...rape seems like a massive, massive, massive oddity.

  • Corigliano Bruce||

    These people are disgusting. All of them.

  • SIV||

    Aside from being a big fan of Asia's parents I liked her performance in The Stendhal Syndrome and especially, New Rose Hotel (which is actually a really good movie).

  • AlmightyJB||

    Douchapolooza.

  • Eric T||

    No wonder he killed himself. Who would want to stick around?

  • D_rwc||

    There were never any 'good intentions' anywhere in the Asia Argento story.

    It was a hollywood power play. nothing more.

  • Careless||

    "I claim BS on you Argento! I might be the one person not scared of you."

    I, um, am also not afraid of her.

  • EIiIis Wyatt||

    she did at the time she created JT weigh 320 pounds and feel suicidal

    Uuuhhggh that is so HOT! I can't believe there are no pictures of that. Life is nothing without incredibly obese, chronically depressed women to lock up in my basement show a good time.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Never heard of her, do not in the least care.
    Let Asia Argento play make believe back in Italy.

  • Robo||

    Oh boohoo, 17 year old "boy" having sex with a 30+ year old??? I'm sure he suffered sooooo much trauma from it. What a douche. Based on her texts sounds like he "jumped" (forced himself) on her. Love letters afterwards? Sounds like unrequited love led to blackmail attempts. Horrible person is not Asia in this instance.

  • RadixLecti||

    Wow... this article linked to some brilliant pieces on this odious woman's hypocrisy, the Penthouse one in particular.
    Lost half my workday trawling for more. This was the best so far:

    https://goo.gl/9j8Eii

  • TomDale||

    I have mixed feelings on this whole situation. True, the MeToo movement from its onset was questionable and I am not sorry to see it imploding.

    But you know for most of Western history, a 17-year-old was not really considered a "child" in most senses either, they were already working and helping to support the family as much as possible; the word teenager itself is a pretty recent social invention. In Jewish culture, people reach maturity long before 18. And a point could be made that ages of consent do vary significantly across the world and even the U.S. itself (in most states, it is 16 instead of 18). The age of consent is also 16 for countries such as Canada, the UK, and Israel. Ironically, California has one of the highest ages of consent, but very likely almost everyone there are active long before 18.

    Americans today are very strongly triggered by age-gap relationships of all kinds, and very black-and-white views on things most of the world might be more flexible on. I remember there was this German movie, "The Reader", about a 15-year-old boy having an affair with an older woman, and immediately people in the U.S. were writing articles about how it promoted "rape" and such, even though the relationship was actually legal in their country.

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