AceShowbiz - Asia Argento condemned Harvey Weinstein in a scathing speech at the Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony on Saturday, May 19.
While presenting the Best Actress award, the 42-year-old Italian star stood next to director Ava DuVernay as she lambasted the disgraced film producer, who she has alleged sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. He has denied her accusations.
"I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The festival was his hunting ground," she began, to deafening silence from the star-studded crowd.
"I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes. Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct against women. You know who you are."
Argento concluded her speech with the words: "But most importantly we know who you are and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer."
The film festival's jury president Cate Blanchett then stood and said to the stunned crowd: "It is complicated as a woman to stand."
Argento later told The Hollywood Reporter that she has known about sexual misconduct allegations against Luc Besson - who was accused of rape in Paris on Thursday, May 17 - for nearly eight months. Lucy director Besson has denied the allegations.
She also discussed her decision to talk about Weinstein and her allegations during the speech and told the publication she needed to highlight the "human trafficking" going on at the Cannes Film Festival.
Discours très fort et très applaudi de l'actrice d'Asia Argento en ce début de Cérémonie de Clôture avant l'annonce du prix d'interprétation féminine.— CANAL+ (@canalplus) May 19, 2018
🎬 Vivez le 71ème #FestivalDeCannes sur myCANAL > https://t.co/i22ZzfViGr#Cannes2018pic.twitter.com/P1n9GcjCtO
"I said, 'I'll do it. But I'm not going to read this s**t.' There was resistance (to me going off script) but we have to do this. We have to bring it back to the victims. To the human trafficking that went on here in Cannes. On the yachts," Argento stated.