UPDATED with comment from Sand Van Roy: French prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations that director Luc Besson raped his former girlfriend, his lawyers have told the Associated Press. The inquiry is now closed due to insufficient evidence, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
Actress Sand Van Roy claimed she had been raped multiple times by Besson, director of Valerian, Leon and The Fifth Element. Besson had called Van Roy’s claims “fantasist accusations.”
According to the Guardian, Besson’s lawyers said today it “is sad that some people – a minority happily – were too quick to condemn him,” but that he “thanks all those others whose constant support has helped him get through these difficult months.”
Van Roy is one of a number of women who have said they were assaulted or harassed by the film mogul, claims he has denied.
“We are very disappointed that despite all the evidence that was presented and all the other women who came forward with similar claims with regards to Luc Besson that this getting dropped,” reps for Van Roy told Deadline on Monday. “Sand is currently not talking to the press and we are going to decide what her next steps will be as she has no intention of giving up on this. It is a big step backwards for women (and men) who have been subjected to similar situations and now may fear coming forward to report their own cases, we hope that is not the case and that they have the strength to stand tall knowing that they are not alone.”
Besson’s French studio Europacorp has struggled since the release of Valerian, one of Europe’s most expensive films ever made. The firm posted a $101 million loss in December and the company has had to cut overhead and staff numbers.