Italian actress and filmmaker Asia Argento has left Italy for the German capital in response to what she calls "victim-shaming" at home after she alleged that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her.
After revealing to Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker that she had been on the receiving end of Harvey Weinstein's inappropriate behavior on multiple occasions, Argento has been the subject of a heated debate in her home country. While her courage to speak out has been praised by women around the globe, including from other actresses in Hollywood, that hasn't been the case in her native Italy.
On the television program Matrix, Alessandro Sallusti, editor-in-chief of the right-wing newspaper Il Giornale, blamed Argento for the assaults, saying that reporting the incident now "is cowardice. You are not a victim, you are a partner in crime."
The right-wing newspaper Libero published a column in which the author wrote, "First they give it away, then they whine and pretend to repent."
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It hasn't only been journalists who have blamed Argento for her own assault. MP Renato Farina said that the assault described by the actress, in which she claims to have had a sex act forced upon her, should be considered "prostitution, not rape." Politician Vittorio Sgarbi took the statement a step further, saying that Weinstein himself was the victim, "assaulted by her."
"Italy is far behind … in its view of women"
While some writers have come out to defend Argento, the actress said in a televised interview from Berlin Tuesday that she would be leaving Italy for Germany to get away from the "climate of tension."
Noting that the reporting had taken on the tone of victim-blaming, she said "Italy is far behind the rest of the world in its view of women."
Argento has since continued to speak out on social media.
"I don't see what I can do there," Argento said on Rai 3's Cartabianca show of her decision to leave Italy. "I'll come back when things improve to fight alongside all the other women."
Argento, whose revelations sparked a social media campaign #quellavoltache ("that time when") dedicated to women reporting their own experiences with abuse, has said on Twitter that she has taken action to sue the Libero newspaper.
ct/sb (AFP, AP)