French film mogul Luc Besson hit by more sex assault claims

Source:AFP Published: 2018/7/10 22:03:41

A second woman has accused the French movie mogul Luc Besson of sexual assault, according to reports, two months after a young actress alleged he had raped her.

The 49-year-old casting director told the French website Mediapart late Monday that she was assaulted by the director "every time I took the lift with him", and that he also demanded sexual favors from her on set.

Two other women also said that Besson "behaved inappropriately" with them, with one actress claiming she had to escape from a casting in his Paris office on her hands and knees.

The director's lawyer Thierry Marembert has already denounced the rape allegation as "fantasist accusations."

Contacted by AFP Tuesday, his office said that he had nothing to add to his statement to Mediapart that Besson "categorically denies any type of inappropriate or reprehensible behavior.

"Mr Besson is reserving his answers for the investigators so that his innocence can be shown."

Mediapart said that the casting director had written to prosecutors and that the actress who had made the previous rape claim had levelled a further allegation against Besson.

But prosecutors said Tuesday that they had yet to receive the new complaints.

With a string of international hits - including The Fifth Element, The Big Blue and Nikita - and his own studio on the edge of Paris, Besson is one of the most powerful players in the French film industry.

Blood tests conducted after the rape claim was first made in May showed that the woman was not drugged. The 27-year-old actress told police she was in an on-off relationship with the 59-year-old.

She said she felt pressured into sex to keep her roles, including in his 2017 sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which was the most expensive European film ever made.

Besson's production company refused to comment on the new allegations but told AFP that "we fully support Luc Besson in this difficult period."

Posted in: EUROPE

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