Argento originally told her story to the Milan paper, Il Corriere della Sera. “He abused me, making me drink GHB, he had a bottle of it,” she told the publication. “At the time, I really didn’t know what it was. I woke up in the morning naked in his bed.” (Argento confirmed the comments to Variety in a text message.) She also added that the story is addressed in her autobiography, titled Anatomy of a Wild Heart, which will be released in Italy on Jan. 26.
A representative for Cohen denied the allegations “as absolutely false,” telling Deadline, “When they worked together, they had an excellent working relationship and Mr. Cohen considered her a friend, so this claim dating back to 2002 is bewildering, especially given what has been reported about her in recent years.”
This isn’t the first time Rob Cohen has been accused of rape. In 2019, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor director was accused of assault by his daughter, Valkyrie Weather, and a women who chose to remain anonymous, dubbed “Jane” in a Huffington Post report. “When I was very young, Rob used my body for his own sexual gratification,” Weather wrote in a Feb. 2019 Facebook post. “My mother [Diana Mitzner] witnessed one of the assaults when I was between two and two and a half years old, and has since confirmed what she saw.” Mitzner confirmed the assault to The Hollywood Reporter, and Cohen denied the claim. “I hope and pray that one day, my child will come into the realization that no matter what anyone says or tries to convince her was the case when she was a child, it is both untrue and unimaginable,” he told THR.
Weather, who is trans, also alleged Cohen took her to see sex workers overseas when she was as young as 13, prior to her transition.
In 2015, the 28-year-old “Jane” said she met the 60-something Cohen in Manhattan to discuss a TV pilot, where he persuaded her to drink—at the end of the night, according to The Huffington Post, she recalls waking up naked in Cohen’s hotel room, with his face in her crotch and his fingers inside her. Cohen’s lawyers claimed Jane was never unconscious, and that she left as soon as the meeting ended.
After news of Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long sexual assault made the #MeToo movement mainstream in 2017, Jane confronted Cohen, texting him, “hearing all this shit about harvey is really hard and i can’t stop thinking about what you did.” He responded with, “I’m so sorry to hear this,” allegedly chalking up the assault to a miscommunication between two drunk parties. Cohen’s lawyer Martin Singer told HuffPo, “My client recalls receiving an odd text or email from [Jane] inferring that she had been taken advantage of, which my client understood to be a complaint that she had never gotten paid for consulting on the defunct project.”
Relatedly, Argento was one of the many women who accused Weinstein of rape in 2017, becoming a leader in the #MeToo movement. That role was complicated after she was accused of sexual assaulting actor Jimmy Bennett when he was 17-years-old. Though she denied the allegations, the case was settled when she and later partner Anthony Bourdain agreed to pay Bennett $380,000, of which they paid $250,000.