Luc Besson: French film director denies rape allegation

French director Luc Besson pictured in black tie at Cannes Film Festival in 2016Image copyright
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Luc Besson’s lawyer previously said he “categorically denies” the rape allegation

Luc Besson, one of France’s best-known film directors, has denied raping or drugging a young actress.

Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy accused Mr Besson of repeatedly raping her over a two-year period.

An investigating judge reopened the case last week, eight months after prosecutors dropped it, following a new complaint by Ms Van Roy.

Mr Besson dismissed her as a “fantasist”, although he admitted having had a relationship with her.

Speaking publicly about the claim for the first time on Tuesday, he told BMFTV that it was a “complete and utter lie”. He added: “I have never raped a woman in my life.”

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Ms Van Roy accused Mr Besson of raping her at a hotel in Paris in May 2018. But the original investigation ended when Paris prosecutors said there was not enough evidence.

Eight other women have spoken to the French investigative news website Mediapart and accused the director of sexual misconduct.

There are few details about those claims. The statute of limitation on some of them has been reached, the website said.

Besson, 60, a director, producer and screenwriter, is most famous for directing the 1988 film The Big Blue, as well as Subway, Leon, The Fifth Element and action thriller Nikita.

He recently directed the action thriller Anna, starring Sasha Luss and Helen Mirren.

Ms Van Roy, 28, played minor roles in two of his films, Taxi 5 and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.