UPDATE: The BBC is reporting a statement from Luc Besson’s lawyer on the alleged incident. “Luc Besson categorically denies these fantasist accusations,” said attorney Thierry Marembert. The BBC took the quote from an AFP news agency story. “[The complainant] is someone he knows, towards whom he has never behaved inappropriately.”
EARLIER: Director Luc Besson has been accused of rape by a 27-year-old actress who has chosen to remain anonymous. She reported the incident to the police on May 18 Parisian time after she claims the director abused her at the Bristol, a hotel near the Champs-Élysées.
The news was first reported by Europe 1. According to the news site, the actress has known the Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets director for years and says she does not remember everything from the evening but claims that Besson left her cash. There are no further details about the accuser or the incident. Deadline reached out to authorities. The French police have yet to confirm that a report was filed.
The accusations come during the #MeToo movement and at the tail end of Cannes, which was fueled with women empowerment. During the fest, Cate Blanchett, Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek and Agnes Varda took part in a gender equality protest on the red carpet alongside 82 women.
The news also comes after DuVernay presented the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony alongside Asia Argento who took the opportunity to address her #MeToo moment and said: “I was raped by Harvey Weinstein in Cannes in 1997. I was 21-years-old. This festival was his hunting ground. I’m going to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here again. He will never disgrace the community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes.”