Brow Beat

Five More Women Have Accused Director Luc Besson of Sexual Misconduct

Luc Besson on a red carpet.
Luc Besson at the Berlinale film festival in 2018.
Stefanie Loos/AFP/Getty Images

French director Luc Besson is facing new accusations of sexual misconduct, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Since May, when actress Sand Van Roy told French authorities that Besson had raped her, a total of nine women have come forward with allegations about Besson’s behavior. Besson, whose films include Léon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, and Lucy, denied Van Roy’s story but has not commented on the latest allegations.

The new allegations were reported by the French website Mediapart and move Besson firmly into bulleted list territory:

• One of Besson’s assistants claims to have been blackmailed into a sexual relationship with Besson, and provided Mediapart with multiple corroborating witnesses and a note allegedly written by Besson.
• Two students at L’Ecole de La Cité, a film school founded by Besson at his Cité du Cinéma production complex, say he harassed them.
• A former employee at Besson’s production company EuropaCorp claimed Besson behaved inappropriately.
• Karine Isambert, a theater producer, alleges that Besson grabbed her during a hotel room casting session in 1995.

Between Van Roy’s report and Wednesday’s news, a former casting director also came forward with claims that Besson sexually harassed and assaulted her, allegations Besson has denied. His next movie, Anna, with Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, and Sasha Luss, is a coproduction between EuropaCorp and the U.S.-based Lionsgate.