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French filmmaker Luc Besson faces fresh allegations of sexual assault

A casting director has reportedly filed a complaint with the Paris public prosecutor, two other women have also alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Fresh allegations of sexual assault have emerged against French Director Luc Besson, AFP reported on Tuesday. A 49-year-old casting director has written to the Paris public prosecutor claiming she was sexually assaulted on several occasions by the high-profile filmmaker. The allegations were detailed in a report by French investigative website Mediapart . The website claims it undertook an investigation lasting several months, which revealed “the stories of several women who describe sexually inappropriate behaviour by Besson”.

The casting director, who chose to remain anonymous, alleged that she was assaulted each time she took an elevator with the director and that he demanded sexual acts from her on set. However, the AFP report said that prosecutors were yet to receive the new complaints as on Tuesday.

Two other women also alleged inappropriate behaviour by Besson to Mediapart, “with one actress claiming she had to escape from a casting in his Paris office on her hands and knees”, said AFP.

Allegations against Besson first surfaced in May, when a 27-year-old actress accused him of raping her at a Paris hotel. She alleged that she was pressured into sex to retain her roles in Besson’s films. Besson lawyer Thierry Marembert denied the accusations at the time, terming them “fantasist”.

Besson’s production company refused to comment on the new allegations but told AFP: “We fully support Luc Besson in this difficult period.” Besson’s office said the filmmaker is “reserving his answers for the investigators so that his innocence can be shown”.

A significant figure in French cinema, Besson has worked on several critically acclaimed films, including Léon: The Professional (1994), The Fifth Element (1997), and Lucy (2014). He was the country’s highest paid director last year.

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