Vox Sentences: #MeToo leader faces sexual assault allegations

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Actress and #MeToo movement leader Asia Argento faces an allegation of sexual assault; Indonesia’s islands are rocked by more deadly earthquakes.


#MeToo claims brought against a #MeToo movement leader

 Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images
  • Nearly a year after she publicly accused producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, actress Asia Argento is facing accusations of sexually assaulting a young actor. [Vanity Fair / Yohana Desta]
  • Argento, an Italian actress, paid a $380,000 settlement to a young actor named James Bennett, who says she sexually assaulted him in 2013 when he was 17 years old — below the age of consent in California, where the alleged encounter took place. [NYT / Kim Severson]
  • Bennett, now 22, said the incident with Argento impacted his mental health and his ability to work. He initially sued Argento for more than $3 million, according to legal paperwork obtained by the New York Times. [NYT / Kim Severson]
  • Argento and Bennett worked together on a 2004 film called The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, in which he played her 7-year-old son. Argento later referred to Bennett as her son in social media posts. [NPR / Camila Domonoske]
  • Even with the legal settlement, detectives for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are reaching out to Bennett and his attorney to attempt to interview the actor. This doesn’t mean for sure that criminal charges will be brought against Argento, but it’s a possibility. [LA Times / Alene Tchekmedyian and Richard Winton]
  • The allegations and settlement are significant, given Argento’s high-profile role in the #MeToo movement, but as Vox’s Anna North writes, it doesn’t invalidate the movement or Argento’s own story of being sexually assaulted. [Vox / Anna North]
  • The alleged incident also speaks to a larger problem. Even though the vast number of sexual assault victims are women, millions of men in the US have been assaulted or raped (perpetrators can be both men and women). [RAINN]
  • There’s limited research on women perpetrating sexual assault, but the available studies looking at violence in the prison system, and nationwide sexual assault statistics, suggest it happens more often than we might think. [Atlantic / Conor Friedersdorf]

Indonesia gets its second deadly earthquake in as many weeks

  • Two weeks after a deadly earthquake killed more than 400 people in Indonesia, one of the country’s islands is rumbling again — with deadly consequences. [NYT / Mike Ives]
  • Two strong earthquakes this weekend on the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Sumbawa have left at least 12 people dead, and many more had to leave their destroyed homes. [South China Morning Post]
  • One earthquake was a strong 6.9 magnitude, while the other one was 6.3. Another 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck a few weeks ago, killing more than 400 people. [Voice of America]
  • The August 5 earthquake caused more than $500 million worth of damage, and the total will likely rise with the additional quakes. The islands are a tourist hot spot, so there are economic concerns in addition to the rising death toll. [NYT / Mike Ives]

Miscellaneous

  • Two goats running amok had to be removed from New York City subway tracks earlier today. The goats are safe and sound, and will forevermore be known as the “crazy kids” … or, as the NYC Subway account called them, “baaaaad boys.” [Twitter / NYCT Subway]
  • As marijuana use gradually becomes legal, it raises the question: Is the drug actually addicting? A number of public health experts think so. [Atlantic / Annie Lowrey]
  • Ancient ladies really liked beer. So much so, they were the brewmasters of Sumeria, Egypt, and Slavic and Baltic cultures. Just don’t try the legendary Finnish ale made out of saliva and bear spit. [Atlas Obscura / Addison Nugent]
  • The process of making the tiny clothes worn by character models in stop-motion films is painstaking. Racked’s Eliza Brooke spoke with a costume designer who tailors the minuscule items. [Racked / Eliza Brooke]

Verbatim

“Steve Dennis’s birth certificate didn’t say where he was born or when, or to whom. It just said he was found in a telephone booth.” [Washington Post / Megan Flynn]


Watch this: The gospel according to Aretha Franklin

Two songs that show off Aretha Franklin’s gospel roots. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell]


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