Asia Argento: Jimmy Bennett Assaulted ME!

Last month, the world learned that Asia Argento was accused of sexual battery of a minor over an alleged hookup when she was 37 and child actor Jimmy Bennett was 17.

Bennett has broken his silence, but Argento's attorney is firing back with an accusation of his own.

He says that then-17-year-old Bennett was the aggressor who "sexually attacked" Argento.

Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett

It sounds like Asia Argento is no longer -- or, rather, was never -- denying that anything went down between her and 17-year-old Bennett at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey.

Attorney Mark Jay Heller tells TMZ that anyone looking for the truth of the matter should look at his client Asia Argento's text messages.

"The horny kid jumped me," Argento wrote in text messages that have since surfaced. "I had sex with him it felt weird."

At another point, she described being "frozen" during the sexual encounter.

For those who are still unsure of how to feel about this situation, Argento's texts may be illuminating. But they do, of course, only tell one side of the story.

Asia Argento, Cannes Speech 2018

We should note that Argento's words in the text messages could be construed to describe an awkward or unexpected sexual encounter.

She shies away from any direct accusations of sexual assault, though words like "frozen" often apply to how people instinctively behave during a sexual assault.

Her attorney does not shy away from direct accusations, and portrays Argento as a forgiving person who did not want to ruin Bennett's life.

Heller says: "Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her."

He says attack rather than assault, but ... this is looking more and more like an allegation.

Jimmy Bennett and Asia Argento

When this story first surfaced, Argento was outspoken in what seemed to be denying that it was true.

"I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett," Argento said.

Heller explains that this was not a lie, but that Argento said that because it was a one-time incident rather than a sexual relationship.

That is ... very much splitting hairs. (And we emphatically do not mean that as a euphemism)

But it's about as good of an explanation as anyone is likely to get.

Asia Argento at Cannes Film Festival

For many people, the most painful part of this story is not that Asia was an outspoken member of the #MeToo movement -- she is, after all, only one person.

What has a lot of people feeling deeply uncomfortable about this story is that the late Anthony Bourdain was involved.

Heller says that it was because of Bordain and Argento's relationship with him that Bennett decided to approach her with what Argento has described as a "shakedown letter."

Heller tells TMZ that Bennett "chose to intrude on that relationship and demand financial payment from Bourdain in consideration for not embarrassing Asia and indirectly Bourdain. ..."

This is ... a very complicated story.

Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain

Heller says that, despite the implication that Bennett had attacked her in the past, Argento does not plan to go after him.

"Asia does not intend to prosecute Bennett for his conduct," Heller says. "And recognizes that his unfortunate past, his stalled acting career..."

Heller continues: "and a lawsuit against his own parents for allegedly misappropriating more than a million and a half dollars from his account..."

Heller says that all of this "might explain his desperation to seek money from Asia and Bourdain for this falsely alleged incident that took place more than 5 years ago."

Well ... that is certainly a vigorous defense of his client.