Actor Asia Argento has been dropped as a judge on X Factor Italy, days after reports emerged that she allegedly sexually assaulted a young actor and then paid him off.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the 42-year-old actor will only feature in the initial seven episodes of the show’s upcoming season where contestants will be auditioned.
The producers — Sky Italia and FremantleMedia — have decided to remove the actor from live portion of the talent show, which will air on September 6.
Argento’s replacement, who will shoot for the live portion with main cast on October 25, will be announced on September 5.
A report by The New York Times, obtained the legal documents in which actor Jimmy Bennett claimed that Argento assaulted him in a California hotel when he was only two months past his 17th birthday; the age of consent in California is 18.
Argento and Bennett co-starred in 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which she also wrote and directed. Bennett, a 7-year-old at the time, played Argento’s son. The two apparently kept in touch.
Argento has denied assaulting Bennett, saying the actor wanted to extract money from her after her name came up in the Weinstein scandal. She said rather than facing a court battle at a time when she was already dealing with a public case, her then-boyfriend, late chef Anthony Bourdain, decided to pay off Bennett.
After the report surfaced, the producers had issued a statement saying that if they were true, they “would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration”.