French court confirms it will drop rape case against film director Luc Besson

rape case against Luc Besson

On Tuesday, a Paris court of appeal confirmed the dismissal of rape allegations against French film director Luc Besson, one of the country’s most high-profile #MeToo issues.

Sand Van Roy, a Dutch-Belgian actress, claimed Luc Besson, the director of The Fifth Element and Leon, of rapping her during a two-year on-again, off-again relationship, and filed a complaint against him in May 2018. Prosecutors abandoned the case in February 2019 due to a lack of evidence, but Ms. Van Roy filed new allegations later that year, prompting a new inquiry.

In December 2021, a French magistrate closed the case, and prosecutors requested that it be dismissed in April. Mr. Besson has always denied the allegations, calling the case “a lie from A to Z” in 2019.

rape case against Luc Besson

Luc Besson’s lawyer, Thierry Marembert, said after the verdict, “The court confirmed my client’s innocence… Luc Besson laments these four years lost.” Antoine Gitton, Ms. Van Roy’s lawyer, said an appeal would be filed for his client immediately with France’s Court of Cassation.

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Mr. Besson has admitted to dating Ms. Van Roy, who appeared in his films Taxi 5 and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in minor roles. She initially submitted a rape report in May 2018, only hours after meeting Mr. Besson, before making a second complaint two months later alleging additional rapes and sexual assaults.

Mr. Besson has been accused of sexual harassment by at least three other women, but he has always denied all charges.

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