An unnamed woman accused Luc Besson, director of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and The Fifth Element, of rape in Paris, France on Saturday evening. Rumors have swirled around Besson and his alleged inappropriate relationships with women since the #MeToo movement began, though this allegation is the first specific complaint to emerge against him since the movement started.
According to sources close to the investigation, the alleged incident occurred on Thursday, May 10. Besson allegedly put something in the victim’s tea that resulted in her becoming unconscious. The alleged victim accuses him of then touching and penetrating her without her consent at the hotel Bristol in Paris, afterwards leaving a wad of money for her and then leaving the hotel. USA Today reports that Besson’s lawyer, Thierry Marembert, told Agence France-Presse on Saturday that “Luc Besson categorically denies these fantasist accusations. (The accuser) is someone he knows, toward whom he has never behaved inappropriately.”
Allegations are circulating that Besson, who is married to Virginie Besson-Silla, has been involved in a relationship with his accuser for at least two years. The filmmaker has thus far denied the accusations to Variety through his legal representative. Besson does have a history with younger women, meeting his second wife when she was only twelve years old (and dating her when she was fifteen). Besson leapt to fame by writing and directing Léon: The Professional, which centered on the relationship between a hitman and a 12-year-old girl.
Besson’s next film, Anna, is a crime thriller starring Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, and Luke Evans. It is scheduled to be released domestically in October by Lionsgate.