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Italian actress claims rape by Hollywood director

Asia Argento. AFP FILE PHOTO

ROME, Italy — Italian actress Asia Argento, one of several women to accuse US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, has now claimed a Hollywood director raped her.

“Hollywood big shot director with Napoleon complex gave me GHB (the “date rape” drug) and raped me unconscious. I was 26 years old,” she said in a Tweet that caused outrage in Italy on Monday.

She did not name her alleged attacker, writing in another Tweet: “I have in no way named the aggressor nor provided elements to identify him. So those who claim to know, writing his name here or elsewhere, are entirely responsible for their actions”.

Under the viral hashtag #quellavoltache (#thattimethat) which has seen Italian women come forward about sexual assaults, Argento said she had been a victim of abuse in Italy too.

“An Italian director/actor pulled out his penis when I was 16 years old and was in his trailer to discuss the ‘role’,” she wrote, again not naming him.

Last week Argento told the New Yorker magazine that she was raped by Weinstein in 1997 in a hotel room on the Cote d’Azur, which she described as a “horrible trauma.”

She said she had other sexual relations with the producer until 2002. Those were consensual but she said she nonetheless felt obligated to submit to his advances.

“Weinstein was a serial predator, and he did it with hundreds of women, and if the scandal did not come out sooner, it was because he was stifling everything, newspapers and journalists,” Argento said in an interview in Sunday’s edition of the La Stampa daily.

More than 20 women — a who’s who of Hollywood — have come forward to accuse Weinstein of rape, assault and sexual harassment.

Weinstein, who insists any sexual encounters were consensual, was expelled this week from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. /cbb

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