Asia Argento has accused her xXx director Rob Cohen of sexually assaulting and drugging her.
Argento — who has been vocal throughout the #MeToo movement — has claimed Cohen, 71, sexually assaulted and drugged her with GHB whilst they worked on the 2002 movie together.
Speaking to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera about the allegations, she shared: "It’s the first time I’m talking about Cohen. He abused me, making me drink GHB, he had a bottle of it."
GHB or gamma-hydroxybutyrate is a depressant that's often used in date-rape cases.
"At the time, I really didn't know what it was. I woke up in the morning naked in his bed," Argento said.
In a texted message to Variety, Argento confirmed the details of her allegations, adding that she discusses it in her forthcoming memoir, Anatomy of a Wild Heart, due out later in Italy from Jan 26.
During an appearance on the talk show Verissimo to plug the book Argento claimed she was initially unsure what had happened to her when she was allegedly drugged and raped.
“I discovered later, speaking with a friend who opened my eyes about that substance [GHB],” she said.
Even then, she didn't make this public because she “did not want to create another storm.” It was after "two women [who] have spoken against [Cohen], including his daughter that she decided to come forth with her accusations.
In 2019, Cohen was accused of allegedly sexually a victim — identified only as 'Jane' —while she was unconscious. The reported assault happened in 2015 after Cohen invited 'Jane' to a business meeting in Manhattan to discuss collaborating on a TV pilot.
Earlier in 2019, Cohen, who also directed Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, faced similar charges from his daughter Valkyrie Weather, who accused him of molesting her when she was a child.
Weather, Cohen's eldest child who is transgender, accused Cohen of taking her to visit sex workers in overseas shooting locations when she was a teen.
Cohen has denied the allegations in both cases.
Responding to Argento's claims, a rep for Cohen told AFP, "Mr Cohen categorically denies Asia Argento’s accusation of assault against him as absolutely false."
“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.”
Argento, who in 2017 became a prominent #MeToo figure when she spoke out against Harvey Weinstein for Ronan Farrow’s The New Yorker article, was subsequently accused of sexual assault herself in 2018.
In August 2018, actor Jimmy Bennett claimed he was sexually assaulted by Argento in 2013 when he was 17. Argento was 37 then.
Argento initially denied the allegation and claimed she had no sexual interactions with Bennett, but weeks later, she retracted the claims and admitted they did hook up but maintains she didn't know how old he was at that time.
Argento's late partner, celeb chef Anthony Bourdain, reportedly paid Bennett US$380,000 (S$504,600) to settle the case. The scandal cost Argento her gig as the judge on X Factor Italy. — BANG
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos