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Asia Argento fired from 'X Factor Italy'

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Asia Argento has been dropped as a judge on the Italian version of "X Factor." File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI

By Wade Sheridan, UPI

Asia Argento has been dropped from X Factor Italy as a judge after the prominent #MeToo leader has been accused of sexual assault.

Argento will be seen on the first seven episodes of X Factor Italy when it debuts on Sept. 6, but then will be replaced when the show begins airing live on Oct. 25.

The first seven episodes have already been filmed with Argento being kept on in order to avoid restarting the auditioning process which featured 40,000 people vying for the competition show's final 12 spots, producers Sky Italia and FremantleMedia Italia said.

Argento, an Italian actress and filmmaker, helped start the #MeToo movement in October after she accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment alongside 13 other women. She gave a speech at the Cannes Film Festival in May about Weinstein and his sexual misconduct through the years at the event.

Argento was accused of sexual assault by actor Jimmy Bennett who said in documents obtained by The New York Times that Argento assaulted him when he was 17. The documents also show that Argento arranged to pay Bennett, now 22, $380,000.

Bennett was 7 years old when he starred in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things with Argento, who played his mother. Argento also directed the project.

Argento has denied the allegations and said that the payment was the idea of her late boyfriend, chef Anthony Bourdain, in order to avoid any negative press.

"Anthony insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us," she said in a statement.

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Entertainment - U.S. Daily News: Asia Argento fired from 'X Factor Italy'
Asia Argento fired from 'X Factor Italy'
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