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Asia Argento delivers searing speech at Cannes against Weinstein

“And even tonight, sitting among you, there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women, for behavior that does not belong in this industry, does not belong in any industry or work place,” she said.

“You know who you are, but most importantly — we know who you are and we’re not going to allow you to get away with it any longer,” she said, drawing applause from the crowd.

The speech came a week after 82 women filmmakers took to the steps of the Palais des Festival to denounce gender inequality in the industry.

Asia Argento delivers searing speech at Cannes against Weinstein
Asia Argento delivers searing speech at Cannes against Weinstein

Eight-two represents the number of films by female directors who have been invited to compete at the festival in its 70 year history. In the same span of time, 1,688 male directors have been represented at the festival, actress Cate Blanchett said during the demonstration.

Filomena Cusano, who is Weinstein’s attorney in Italy, said she was at the festival when Argento spoke and the allegations “are completely false.”

“Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Argento had a consensual relationship; Ms. Argento then starred in Mr. Weinstein’s film B. Monkey in 1998, in which Argento was excellent, and she herself said was a fantastic role for her,” Cusano said in a statement to NBC News.

“After that, she wrote a script for Mr. Weinstein about Italian director Vittorio De Sica that he wishes could have been produced. This is clearly a painful moment for Ms. Argento, but it is a false narrative. Harvey has only respect for her and wishes her well,” Cusano added.

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