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Five additional women have come forward with accusations of sexual abuse and harassment against French director Luc Besson.
The claims are the latest following a rape complaint filed by Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy in May and accusations that he assaulted a casting director in the 2000s and sexually harassed an employee, which were revealed in July. It brings to nine the number of women who have accused the director of a variety of sexual crimes, ranging from rape to inappropriate behavior.
Besson denied Van Roy’s rape allegation, which is still under investigation by Paris police. A representative for EuropaCorp declined to comment on the new allegations, and a lawyer for Besson has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.
The latest round of accusations were reported by investigative website Mediapart and center on a former assistant who said she was coerced and “blackmailed” into a sexual relationship with the director. The assistant, who chose to remain anonymous, detailed three sexual encounters as well as a pattern of harassment at work.
At the time of the alleged harassment, she confided in other employees who verified her story for Mediapart. She also provided Besson’s agenda and a note from Paris’ tony Hotel Meurice allegedly written by the director, in which the assistant was instructed to take a bath and called a “princess.”
Two students at Besson’s now-defunct Cite du Cinema also leveled charges of harassment at the director, while a former employee of EuropaCorp also added charges of inappropriate behavior.
Theater producer Karine Isambert recounted a story in which the director forcibly grabbed her during a hotel-room casting in 1995. In similarities with the sexual harassment charges against Harvey Weinstein, Mediapart reported that Besson often asked for meetings in hotel rooms and said it had obtained a video of a hotel room casting of a 16-year-old girl in 2003.
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