Actor Asia Argento, who famously dated late chef Anthony Bourdain and was one of the first public accusers of Harvey Weinstein, has now accused The Fast and the Furious and xXx director Rob Cohen of sexual assault.
Argento has been one of the leading voices of the #MeToo movement, and in a new interview with Italian publication Il Corriere della Sera she claims that Cohen drugged her with the date-rape drug GHB and sexually assaulted her after she passed out.
“It’s the first time I’m talking about Cohen,” Argento said, as reported by Variety. “He abused me, making me drink GHB. He had a bottle of it,” she said.
“At the time, I really didn’t know what it was. I woke up in the morning naked in his bed,” she said, claiming the alleged assault took place while she was starring in the Cohen-directed 2002 action movie xXx.
Argento told Variety she stands by her allegations, and that she will reveal more details in her upcoming autobiography Anatomy of a Wild Heart, which will be released in Italy later this month.
“I confirm what [was] reported by Corriere,” Argento told Variety via text message. “I talk about it in my autobiography.” According to Argento, she wasn’t quite sure what had happened until after the fact and learning more about GHB. “I discovered later, speaking with a friend who opened my eyes about that substance [GHB],” she said. The reason she has remained silent until now, she said, was because she “did not want to create another storm.” She decided the time was right to come forward, she added, now that “two women have spoken against [Cohen], including his daughter.”
In 2019, HuffPost reported on an anonymous victim — identified as “Jane” — who alleged that Cohen sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. In addition, Cohen’s daughter, Valkyrie Weather, claimed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that her father molested her when she was very young, alleging he “used my body for his own sexual gratification.”
Cohen has denied both allegations, and issued a statement refuting Argento’s accusation.
“Mr. Cohen categorically denies Asia Argento’s accusation of assault against him as absolutely false,” a spokesperson for Cohen told AFP. “When they worked together, they had an excellent working relationship and Mr Cohen considered her a friend, so this claim dating back to 2002 is bewildering, especially given what has been reported about her in recent years.”
The latter part of the statement refers to the controversy that ensued in 2018 when actor Jimmy Bennett claimed that Argento had sex with him when he was 17; subsequent reports claimed the case had been settled when Argento’s then-partner Anthony Bourdain paid Bennett $380,000 — which Argento has denied.