Director 'in shock' over harassment talk

SANTIAGO • A Chilean film director accused of sexual harassment by eight actresses apologised for his actions on Monday, but denied being a sex pest.

Nicolas Lopez, a famed director known for his comedies, said he was "in shock" over the allegations that appeared in local magazine Sabado last Saturday.

"It hurts to see that they feel bad about what I did," said Lopez in a video. "For this, I would like to say sorry and I hope that all of this will soon be cleared up," he added, looking visibly shaken.

Actress-journalist Daniela Ginestar had claimed Lopez, 35, masturbated in front of her while "he projected onto a giant screen a video showing him having sex with a famous Chilean television personality".

Well-known actress-model Josefina Montane said that in a 2014 meeting Lopez "literally asked me if he could grab" her breast.

He described his accusers as "friends and close acquaintances with whom I had close relationships".

"I'm not a stalker or an abuser. I might have been injudicious, a scoundrel, an imbecile, but I'm not that," he added.

But his apology brought more scorn from Ginestar, who said his video made her feel "even more violated". "Now it seems like he's the victim and we look like we're exaggerating," she said.

The fall-out has been rapid for Lopez, though, with Netflix announcing it was reviewing its relationship with the director.

Three of his films are available on the video platform.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Director 'in shock' over harassment talk'. Print Edition | Subscribe