Another high-profile director is being accused of sexual improprieties. This time its Luc Besson, the filmmaker behind The Fifth Element, Lucy, and many other films.
An actress who worked with Besson on two movies has filed a complaint with the police accusing the director of rape.
The actress, who chose to remain anonymous, told Variety that the incident, which she regards as a "violent sexual assault," happened on May 10 following a meeting with Besson at the Bristol Hotel near the Champs Elysees in Paris.
Authorities in Paris are now investigating the complaint, which describes Besson putting something in the actress's tea that left her unconscious. The actress accuses him of touching and penetrating her without consent.
Thierry Marembert, Besson's lawyer, told Agence France-Presse on May 19 that the director categorically denies all the accusations made against him.
"(The accuser) is someone he knows, towards whom he has never behaved inappropriately."
Women Power At Cannes Film Festival
The reports came as the annual Cannes Film Festival wrapped up, where female filmmakers marched and spoke up about parity and representation. During the festival's closing remarks, actress Asia Argento confessed that she was raped by Harvey Weinstein at Cannes in 1997.
"I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground. I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes," said Argento.
She also pointed to some individuals among the audience "who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women."
"You know who you are. But most importantly, we know who you are. And we're not going to allow you to get away with it any longer."
Besson is the newest name in the growing list of men in Hollywood who have been accused of sexual misconduct. The most prominent name among which is, of course, Weinstein, who allegedly used his position to force women to perform sexual acts with him. Some who declined his advances ended up getting raped.
Between writing, producing, and directing, Besson's work spans nearly 100 films. This includes the popular Taken franchise, and most recently, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which only grossed $255 million against a $177 million budget.
Besson's next movie, Anna, is scheduled to premiere this October. It stars Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, and Luke Evans.