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Asia Argento accuses xXx director Rob Cohen of sexual assault

Rosy Cordero
·2 min read

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images; Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Asia Argento has accused director Rob Cohen of sexually assaulting her while they worked on the 2002 film xXx — an accusation Cohen denies.

The Italian actress, who was one of the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein and helped to spark the #MeToo movement in 2017, made the allegations against Cohen in an interview with Italy's Il Corriere Della Sera on Friday.

"This is the first time I'm speaking about Cohen," Argento told the outlet in Italian. "It happened in 2002 while we shot xXx. He abused me by making me drink GHB, he had a bottle."

GHB is a psychoactive drug often known as the date rape drug for its ability to depress the central nervous system causing the user in many instances to lose consciousness.

She continued, "At that time, I honestly didn't know what [GHB] was. I woke naked in his bed in the morning."

EW has reached out to representatives for Argento and Cohen.

Variety reports the Marie Antoinette actress confirmed the Italian media's coverage of her allaegations, adding that she will reveal further details in her upcoming autobiography Anatomy of a Wild Heart set to be released on Jan. 16 in Italy.

A spokesperson for Cohen told PEOPLE in a statement that the director "categorically denies" the allegations.

"Mr. Cohen categorically denies Asia Argento's accusation of assault against him as absolutely false," the spokesperson said in a statement. "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."

Cohen's representative seems to be referring to accusations made against Argento in 2018 of sexually assaulting her former costar Jimmy Bennett five years earlier when he was 17 and she was 37. Argento and Bennett appeared together in the 2004 movie The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.

She denied reports that she had a sexual relationship with Bennett, alleging Bennett requested "an exorbitant request of money" from her. Argento says her then-boyfriend, the famous chef Anthony Bourdain paid Bennett to avoid negative publicity. Bourdain died from suicide in 2018.

Cohen was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was unconscious, according to a 2019 Huffington Post report. The woman, who chose not to reveal her identity and is referred to as "Jane" in the report, claimed the incident occurred following a 2015 business meeting she had with Cohen.

In response to the allegation, Cohen's lawyer released a statement denying the assault.

Cohen's daughter, Valkyrie Weather, also came forward with allegations in 2019. Weather maintains she was a child when the sexual abuse took place. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Cohen referred to her story as "categorically untrue."

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