Asia Argento Fired From X Factor Italy After Sexual Assault Allegations

asia argento mafiosa

One of the women at the peak of the #MeToo movement, Asia Argento recently got embroiled in her own controversy after it was alleged that the actress and filmmaker paid over $380,000 to settle claims that she had sexually assaulted a male who was only 17 at the time. The allegations have started taking their toll on Argento's professional life now, as she has been fired from being a judge on the reality program X Factor Italy.

To be sure, Asia Argento will still be appearing on X Factor Italy whenever the season kicks off on September 6, but only in the episodes that were previously recorded before this controversy gained ground. She will appear in the first seven episodes of Season 12, but will no longer be around once the live episodes begin airing starting on October 25. Instead, X Factor Italy will feature a new judge taking Argento's place, along with the rest of the main cast. According to THR, the new judge will be announced on September 5, during the pre-premiere press conference in Milan.

Some might be wondering why X Factor Italy will be keeping Asia Argento on the program at all, despite producers having previously claimed they wouldn't be working with her if the sexual assault allegations were proven to be true. The reasoning there is that Sky Italia did not want to have to completely toss out the episodes that had already been filmed, as no one wanted to punish the 40,000 people who had come out for the season's initial casting calls, and obviously not the dozen contestants who will be moving on to the live episodes. As such, all of the pre-taped episodes are currently set to air as planned.

Previously, The New York Times reported that in 2013, Asia Argento allegedly invited then-17-year-old Jimmy Bennett to a California hotel suite and proceeded to give him alcohol before performing oral sex on him, which then turned into intercourse. Later, Argento was said to have paid Bennett $380,000 in a settlement, and though the actress has admitted to making the payment, she still denies the sexual assault claims. She's stated she only paid Bennett off to avoid negative publicity, claiming the young main was economically troubled and had also attempted to hit up his own family members with legal action.

Asia Argento, who was dating Anthony Bourdain at the time of the celebrity chef's self-inflicted death, had alleged back in 2017 that she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein back in the 1990s. She later claimed the story (from #MeToo journalist Ronan Farrow) had simplified the facts and drew her much criticism in Italy and causing her to relocate to Germany. She has remained outspoken about the incidents since, though the Bennett situation obviously complicated things.

It's unclear to see just what'll happen in the future concerning Asia Argento's career, but for now, it looks like she'll only be in the first chunk of X Factor Italy when it debuts on September 6. Stay tuned for more from this complicated situation, and head to our fall TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows will be hitting primetime in the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.