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After Long Denial, Rain Dove Fesses Up on Argento Texts

LGBTQ activist makes confessional video, admits to selling texts for $10K to TMZ
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2019 10:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Rain Dove has long denied being the one who leaked the text messages in which Asia Argento appears to admit to having had sex in 2013, when she was 37, with a then-17-year-old Jimmy Bennett. Now, Dove has put out a confessional video titled "Exposing Myself: Sharing Lies & Secrets," in which the LGBTQ activist takes part in a "purge of the times I've lied, stolen, cheated, manipulated, and created darkness." Among those lies, admits Dove (who goes by they/them pronouns) in the hourlong video, is that they actually did sell Argento's texts to TMZ, for $10,000. "I asked for advice from my closest friends, some of which are very powerful and wonderful people and very connected in the industry, and they said just do it," Dove said, adding they used the money to pay off individuals to help keep their secret, to donate to groups that fight sexual assault, and to pay rent.

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Dove had previously admitted to reporting the texts to police but not to being the one who leaked them. Dove tells NBC News they accepted the money in case they needed to retain legal counsel to fend off any potential libel lawsuits, and that they only went to TMZ because Dove's reports to law enforcement were initially unsuccessful. In the video, Dove also cops to some other lies, including that they were a former firefighter—a Colorado fire official says Dove was a wildfire prevention officer, a role that doesn't involve coming into contact with actual fire—and that they'd attended UC Berkeley. (Read more Asia Argento stories.)

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