More sexual allegations against Luc Besson

Director Luc Besson is one of the most powerful players in the French film industry.
Director Luc Besson is one of the most powerful players in the French film industry.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS • A 49-year-old casting director said she was assaulted by director Luc Besson "every time I took the lift with him".

He also demanded sexual favours from her on the set.

She is the second woman to accuse Besson, 59, of sexual assault, two months after a young actress alleged he had raped her.

Two other women also told French website Mediapart that Besson "behaved inappropriately" towards them, with one actress claiming she had to escape from a casting in his Paris office on her hands and knees.

With a string of international hits - including The Fifth Element (1997) and Nikita (1990) - and his own studio on the edge of Paris, Besson is one of the most powerful players in the French film industry.

Blood tests conducted after the rape claim, first made in May, showed that the woman was not drugged.

The 27-year-old actress - who has only ever appeared in Besson's films - told police she was in an on-off relationship with him.

She said she felt pressured into having sex to keep her roles, including in his 2017 sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Her mother and a number of her friends told Mediapart that the actress had been in a relationship with Besson who called all the shots.

He made her go on diets and dye her hair blonde.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline 'More sexual allegations against Luc Besson'. Print Edition | Subscribe