Valerian director Luc Besson accused of rape

Yesterday, the French radio station Europe 1 reported that the Paris authorities opened an investigation against the French film director Luc Besson, after an actress told them that he had raped her the night before .

According to the complaint, the actress says she met Besson on Thursday afternoon at the Bristol Hotel in Paris, when the Cannes Film Festival was ending. She describes how she was given a cup of tea and fainted after drinking it, and woke up when she realized that she had been raped. She says that the director left her a wad of money before leaving. The actress also noted that she had previously been in an intimate relationship with Besson for two years, one that felt pressured by "professional reasons."

In a statement to AFP News Service Besson's lawyer says the director "categorically denies these fanciful accusations" and that the actress is "someone she knows, toward whom she has never behaved inappropriately "

The director of films like Fifth Element, Lucy, and more recently, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Besson has a history of dating with younger actresses: to go out with his second wife, Maïwenn Le Besco in 1991 when he was 15 years old (Besson was 32 at the time), and they had a daughter two years later. Le Besco has noted that Besson's 1994 movie Léon: The Professional, was partly inspired by their relationship, and that the parents of 11-year-old star Natalie Portman demanded numerous changes to the script due to its inadequate age content.

The accusation against Besson comes on the heels of a wave of complaints within Hollywood of sexual misconduct by managers, agents, and high-powered producers, starting with executive Harvey Weinstein last year. These revelations caused the fall of actors known as Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and others. This incident occurred just before actress Asia Argento described Cannes as Weinstein's previous "hunting ground," and said there were still people in the crowd who would be "responsible for their behavior against women," and that "we know who are you and we will not allow him to get away with it any longer? "