Director Luc Besson Faces New Accusations Of Sexual Assault
The director has been accused of harassment by several women, including one allegation of rape by a young actress.
Director Luc Besson is facing new allegations of sexual assault and harassment, two months after a young actress accused the 59-year-old of rape.
In an investigation by French outlet Mediapart, Besson has been accused of assaulting a casting director as well as harassing a staff member -- on top of the accusation from May where Sand Van Roy accused him of rape.
Mediapart reported that since Van Roy's accusation, two other women had come forward under the condition of anonymity, including the casting director who claimed Besson assaulted her each time they took the lift together.
"He kissed me by force, putting his tongue in his mouth, and although I pushed him away, he took me in his arms and touched my breasts and buttocks," the woman claimed.
Besson denied Van Roy's accusation of rape and has yet to respond to the new allegations.
His lawyer, Thierry Marembert, said that the director was "reserving his answers for the investigators so that his innocence can be shown".
Marembert previously dismissed Van Roy's allegations as "fantasist accusations".
Besson's production company, EuropaCorp, reportedly told AFP that they "fully support Luc Besson" during "this difficult period".
EuropaCorp has struggled since Besson's last film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a box office blunder, with Variety reporting that the company's stock has dropped 6.97 percent since Mediapart's story was published .
Besson is well known for his other films like The Fifth Element and Léon: The Professional.
The latter features a relationship between a 12-year-old girl and a professional hit-man. A commercial success which jettisoned Besson into the international spotlight, many at the time didn't realise the parallels between Léon and Besson's own life.
Besson met the child actress Maïwenn Le Besco for the first time when she was 12, and the pair reportedly started dating when she was 15. Besson was 32 at the time, and they had a daughter the following year, when Maïwenn was 16. The actress later claimed the film was inspired by their relationship.
Besson has since been married twice more, including to Fifth Element star Milla Jovovich from '97-99, who in an interview in February spoke about the merits of movements like #MeToo.
"I think all the movements (#MeToo, #TimesUp) going on now are wonderful because women are at last getting to speak out and are also getting support from their peers. Before, it wasn’t this way... if you spoke out, you would be ostracised and no one wanted to lose work."
Variety reports Besson's company is working to release his next upcoming film Anna, a co-production with Lionsgate.