The Argento-Bennett Affair, for want of a better term, is beginning to take an interesting twist and turn, one that may very well significantly impact the #MeToo Campaign, of which Ms. Asia Argento is widely known to be both a vanguard member and a key player, although she is not one of the several women suing Mr. Weinstein. In the latest report on the controversy, however, the Italian actor vehemently denies having had any sexual encounter or romantic liaison with her accuser, Mr. James Bennett (aka Jimmy Bennett) –The part that I am most interested in, if also because of its globally publicized edge, regards the $380,000 (USD) that Ms. Argento claims in the report of her vehement denial was paid by her “partner” or “boyfriend,” Mr. Anthony Bourdain, who was reportedly found dead in his hotel room at Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France, on or about June 8 of this year.
The cause of death of the narrator-producer of the globally renowned CNN-broadcast food-tasting travel show named “Places Unknown,” was initially and simply given as an apparent suicide. It was while researching for this final segment of this three-part column series that I came across information indicating that Mr. Bourdain, who had been dating Ms. Argento since 2016, following two remarkably sustained marriages both of which ended in divorce, nonetheless. You see, I became curious or got very interested in this aspect of Mr. Bourdain’s life primarily because shortly after his alleged passing by an apparent suicide, much of the public discussions on the circumstances that may very well have triggered his apparently violent death centered around the widely known fact that our subject had had quite a lot of problems with drugs for much of his adult life. Now, it just may well turn out that the famous millionaire chef, he preferred to call himself a former chef, may very well have decided to end his own life because of the apparently fast-spiraling scandal in the form of the Argento-Bennett Affair and its fast-ballooning and morally devastating implications that the certain fallout from this scandal might mean for his own image and reputation. Among the Akan-Twi-language-speaking people of Ghana, we have a maxim that runs thusly: “It is better to die than to be disgraced.”
Now, we just don’t know the stark reality or painful truth of the preceding observations which are, at best, sheer speculation. Once the California police have been able to sort things out and gotten to the bottom of matters associated with this scandalous event, that may very well contain the aforesaid tragic edge to it, our understanding and appreciation of matters would fall smack into place. Now, though, the question that many a curious observer may be wistfully puzzled by is the fact that although Ms. Argento vehemently denies that, in fact, she and the then-Master Bennett indulged in any intimate sexual encounter or intercourse, still, she and her late celebrity food-tasting former chef or dietary connoisseur went right ahead and settled matters with her alleged accuser at the decent sum of $380,000; and then for Ms. Argento to so quickly jump onto the anti-Weinstein #MeToo Campaign bandwagon. The critically thinking observer does not require any college degree in philosophy or literary theory from any of the Ivy League or Oxbridge academies to reasonably conclude that something simply does not add up here.
Ms. Argento is also reported to have said that Mr. Bennett had been facing very desperate financial difficulties that had even forced the young man to turn against some of his own family members or relatives whom he had even threatened with a lawsuit. But, of course, all this information is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. Besides, at least per the news story under discussion, Ms. Argento does not give her audience any comprehensive clues as to why Mr. Bennet would turn on his own family. At the end of the afore-referenced Guardian news story, one cannot help but arrive at the quite convincing conclusion that prior to being found dead with a lasso around his neck, the twice-married and twice-divorced Mr. Bourdain might have felt inexcusably betrayed by his partner and possible helpmeet, or wife, down the line – no pun, of course, is intended here.
Ms. Argento is also reported to be saying that everything appeared to have been settled with Mr. Bennett, and that things were going quite groovily between her and her late celebrity boyfriend until she decided to perhaps inadvisably, in retrospect, throw her moral heft, or whatever might have been left of it, behind the platoons of women accusing Mr. Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment. In all likelihood, Mr. Bennett might have felt insufferable hypocrisy on the part of the woman he alleges had sexually violated and/or molested him while he was still a minor. The accused woman, on the other hand, seems to think and believe that Mr. Bennett just saw another chance or prime opportunity to up the ante, as it were; that is, fill up his wallet, once Ms. Argento put herself exactly where her well-calculating “moocher” wanted her. About the only definitive solution to this “She Said, He Said” rhetorical runaround puzzle remains to be professionally and credibly assembled by California police investigators. At least it is squarely on the latter count that I bet my proverbial bottom-dollar.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs