French film director Luc Besson is facing fresh allegations of sexual violence, after a casting director wrote to the Paris public prosecutor claiming she was sexually assaulted by him, the French investigative website Mediapart has reported.
French police are investigating Besson after a 27-year-old woman filed a rape complaint against him in May.
Besson, 59, said at the time that he denied what he deemed “fantasist accusations”.
Known for thrillers including Leon and The Fifth Element, Besson was France’s highest-paid director last year, and is one of the most influential figures in the French film industry.
Mediapart said that another woman, a 49-year-old casting director, contacted prosecutors last week, alleging that she was a victim of sexual assault.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, wrote to the public prosecutor on July 6 to describe sexual aggression of which “I was both a witness and a victim”, Mediapart reported. She said she was assaulted by the director “every time I took the lift with him”, and that he also demanded sex acts from her on set.
Two other women told Mediapart that Besson “behaved inappropriately” with them, with one claiming she had to escape from his Paris office on her hands and knees.
Besson’s lawyer Thierry Marembert has previously denounced the first rape allegation as “fantasist accusations”. Contacted about the new allegations, his office said that he had nothing to add to his previous statement in which he said: “categorically denies any type of inappropriate or reprehensible behaviour”.
“Mr Besson is reserving his answers for the investigators so that his innocence can be shown,” the lawyer told Mediapart.
The actor who made the first complaint against Besson in May told Mediapart she had felt pressured into sex with Besson to keep her roles in his films.
Besson’s production company refused to comment on the new allegations but said: “We fully support Luc Besson in this difficult period.”
The allegations are the latest to emerge since the Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of a series of sexual assaults last year, sparking the #MeToo movement.