French Prosecutors Dismiss Rape Case Against Luc Besson

Luc Besson - CinemaCon 2017 - Getty - H 2017
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An actress filed a complaint last May accusing the director of raping her. The prosecutor's office said Monday that investigators didn't find evidence of a rape.

The Paris prosecutor's office has dismissed rape charges against director Luc Besson after an investigation failed to turn up evidence to support a woman's allegation.

Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy filed a complaint last May accusing the 59-year-old director of raping her at Le Bristol Paris hotel. Initial press reports indicated that she had also claimed he had drugged her, which Van Roy denies.

The prosecutor's office said Monday that the charges were dismissed because the investigation did not yield proof of the offense.

Lawyers for Besson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the charges had been dropped. "Mr. Luc Besson has satisfactorily noted the decision of the Prosecutor to dismiss the charges brought by Ms. Sand Van Roy, which he has always formally denied. This decision comes after a very thorough survey conducted by the prosecutor with which he fully cooperated."

Besson was questioned by investigators on Oct. 2 and Dec. 11 of last year.

The statement went on to read that Besson "regretted that some, fortunately a minority, had hastened to condemn him and he thanks all those whose constant support enabled him to face these difficult months."

Van Roy came forward with her claim in May, following a meeting at the hotel with Besson. At the time the actress, who had a role in Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, said she had been pressured into a two-year relationship with the director.

Following the report, eight other women came forward with various accusations of sexual abuse and harassment ranging from rape to inappropriate behavior against the the filmmaker in a series of investigative reports by French news site Mediapart.

Besson's EuropaCorp has struggled in the wake of the charges.

UPDATED 7/22/2019 with the following statement from Ms. Van Roy: "In none of the police reports I mentioned I was drugged by Luc Besson. Blood tests were run as part of the procedure as French police wanted to exclude 'date rape' as they had dealt with a similar [unrelated] case shortly before my complaint. I called the police only hours after I was raped which allowed them to collect objective evidence. The doctor who examined me wrote down that 'the physical evidence could support my statements.'”  

Van Roy has subsequently filed for a judge to re-examine the case. That decision is expected by early September.