French director Luc Besson has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women, with allegations ranging from rape to sexual harassment. The allegations are separate from claims made last May by actress Sand Van Roy, who accused Besson of raping her at a Paris hotel; he denied the claim. Her allegations are still being investigated by Parisian police.
These new allegations are also separate from two additional claims from a casting director last July, who said that Besson assaulted her, and a former employee, who claims he sexually harassed her. Bessons lawyer, Thierry Marembert, told investigative French outlet Mediapart that the director was saving his remarks for the authorities, “so that his innocence can be proven.”
Nine women total have accused Besson of sexual misconduct thus far, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In this new round of allegations, again reported by Mediapart, one of the accusers (who remained anonymous) is a former assistant who says that Besson coerced and “blackmailed” her into a sexual relationship, T.H.R. notes. She also says that he harassed her at work. Fellow employees verified to Mediapart that she confided in them about the allegations. She also gave the outlet a note allegedly written by Besson, in which its writer calls the accuser a “princess” and tells her to take a bath.
The second and third accusers are former students at Bessons former Cite du Cinema facility, who claim he harassed them. The fourth is a former employee of EuropaCorp, Bessons struggling film company, who alleges inappropriate behavior.
The fifth is theater producer Karine Isambert, who claims Besson forcibly grabbed her during a hotel-room casting in 1995. Per Mediapart, Besson often allegedly set up meetings in hotel rooms. There is also apparently a hotel-room casting video of a 16-year-old girl in 2003, which Mediapart says it has obtained. Representatives for Besson have not yet responded to Vanity Fairs request for comment.
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