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for ‘being labeled a pedophile’

Rose McGowan has apologized for claiming Asia Argento had been receiving nude pictures from former child actor, Jimmy Bennett, since he was just 12 years old.

Earlier this week Argento, 43, spoke exclusively to DailyMail TV to tell how McGowan’s false allegations had destroyed their friendship, ruined her life and left her reputation in tatters.

McGowan, 45, spoke out in the wake of Bennett’s allegation that Argento had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room when he was 17 and she was 37.

But in a dramatic about face, McGowan has admitted: ‘On 27 August I released a statement about Asia Argento, which I now realized contained a number of facts that were not correct.

 Rose McGowan says she was sorry for claiming Asia Argento had been receiving nude pictures from Jimmy Bennett since he was 12 years old

 Responding to Rose McGowan's apology,Asia Argento (pictured) told DailyMail.com: 'The shame of falsely being labeled a pedophile has caused unbearable distress'

 Responding to Rose McGowan’s apology,Asia Argento (pictured) told DailyMail.com: ‘The shame of falsely being labeled a pedophile has caused unbearable distress’

‘The most serious of these was that I said that the unsolicited nude text messages Asia received from Jimmy Bennett had been sent since Jimmy was 12 years old. In fact, I had misunderstood the messages that Asia exchanged with my partner Rain Dove, which made clear that Jimmy had sent Asia inappropriate text messages only after they met up again when he was 17…’

She went onto say, ‘I deeply regret not correcting my mistake sooner and apologize to Asia for not doing so.’

But if she hopes that her apology will bring to an end her feud with Argento she will be disappointed.

In a statement shared exclusively with DailyMail.com Argento has responded, ‘Although I appreciate the apology and the retraction, the shame of falsely being labeled a pedophile has caused unbearable distress.

‘The consequences have led to me losing my job on X-factor Italy as well as other work opportunities and has had an unspeakable impact on my two young children.’

ROSE MCGOWAN’S APOLOGY

Jimmy Bennett (left) first wrote a letter to Asia Argento (right), threatening to make public a sexual encounter between them that took place in California when he was 17 and she was 37. The legal age of consent is 18 in California.

Jimmy Bennett (left) first wrote a letter to Asia Argento (right), threatening to make public a sexual encounter between them that took place in California when he was 17 and she was 37. The legal age of consent is 18 in California.

Giving his first TV interview to an Italian television station, Jimmy Bennett (pictured) was ridiculed for claiming he was sexually assaulted by a woman

Giving his first TV interview to an Italian television station, Jimmy Bennett (pictured) was ridiculed for claiming he was sexually assaulted by a woman

Argento dated Anthony Bourdain for two years before his suicide in June – an event that plunged her into an abyss of grief and from which she is still struggling to recover.

McGowan’s ‘treachery’ cut all the deeper, she told DailyMail TV, because it came at her darkest hour.

Now, reacting to McGowan’s apology, she continued, ‘I’ve endured all of this headache while still mourning the loss of my beloved partner Anthony Bourdain. It has almost destroyed me.

‘I needed to take legal action because I want my name cleared. I still don’t understand why Rose couldn’t have done the right thing and retracted earlier when she knew she was just repeating the lies of her partner Rain Dove.’

Last week Dove, 28, retracted her statements but McGowan doubled down on her own, riding out the deadline laid down by Argento after which she vowed to take legal action.

Rain Dove (left), 28 retracted her statements last week but Rose McGowan (right) refused to admit she was mistaken until today 

Rain Dove (left), 28 retracted her statements last week but Rose McGowan (right) refused to admit she was mistaken until today 

Now Argento is viewing McGowan’s apology as too little too late.

Argento said, ‘The matter is far from over. I am currently seeking advice over criminal proceedings against Rain Dove for deception for financial gain.’ 

Earlier this week Argento broke her silence to DailyMail TV to speak of her rift from McGowan, the fellow MeToo activist whom she once considered a ‘sister’.

And she also revealed she was told by McGowan’s partner Rain Dove that Anthony Bourdain died with a prostitute after injecting heroin through his neck – and was presented with what Dove told her were her lover’s ashes.

The actress spoke of her ordeal of being accused of driving him to suicide by cheating on him, revealing that they had an open relationship.

She described her horror at being accused of sexually assaulting Bennett when he was 17, repeating in the interview that she was the victim, that Bennett jumped on her and that she ‘froze’.

Argento also shared text messages with McGowan and with Dove which she said backed her astonishing tale.

In the texts Dove tells her the prostitute was wearing a hijab, that someone had obtained Bourdain’s toxicology report, and that he had hanged himself because he did not want it to be known he had overdosed. None of those claims were true. 

Asia Argento,  photographed with Anthony Bourdain, said she lost her job on X Factor Italy and other work opportunities because of McGowan's claims

Asia Argento,  photographed with Anthony Bourdain, said she lost her job on X Factor Italy and other work opportunities because of McGowan’s claims

And Argento addressed personally and emotionally the allegations of sexual assault made against her by former child actor Bennett, 22, who worked with the Italian actress and director when he was just nine.

She broke down in tears as she told DailyMailTV: ‘I was the one who was assaulted. It was painful.’ 

The revelation in August that Argento had sex with Bennett and then agreed to pay him $380,000 four years later hit the actress and the MeToo movement like a bomb going off.

Argento initially denied they had had sex. When texts leaked two days later that showed her saying ‘he jumped me’, Argento said through an attorney that she was the victim, not Bennett. 

A week later, McGowan released a lengthy statement saying that her partner Dove had told her that Argento had slept with Bennett.

‘Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images,’ McGowan initially claimed.

Asia Argento said she still plans to push for criminal proceedings against Dove for deception for financial gain

Asia Argento said she still plans to push for criminal proceedings against Dove for deception for financial gain

Argento attacked those claims and told DailyMail TV: ‘This has destroyed my life. These lies have destroyed my life.’ 

Last October Argento was among the first alleged Weinstein victims to speak up and be named in a New Yorker article that started a swell that built to what Argento calls the ‘MeToo tsunami.’

People who had never heard of the Italian – who has won numerous awards in her native country including a David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of an Oscar – were suddenly talking about her and the fact that she was dating beloved celebrity chef and CNN host, Anthony Bourdain, only added to the luster of her global celebrity.

Asia Argento said the false claims by Rose McGowan had destroyed their friendship and ruined her life

Asia Argento said the false claims by Rose McGowan had destroyed their friendship and ruined her life

Bennett was among those watching Argento’s growing fame. One month after the New Yorker article Bennett wrote to Argento, who played the role of his mother in the 2004 movie The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.

In his letter he threatened to make public a sexual encounter between them that took place in California when he was 17 and she was 37. The legal age of consent is 18 in California. 

Argento told told DailyMail TV: ‘I had to go to a therapist. When me and Anthony were together we told each other everything and I told him also about this experience that happened in 2013.

‘I was the one who was assaulted [so getting the letter] was painful. ‘   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk