The iconic French director Luc Besson, known for such influential films as The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, has had a rape claim made by actor Sand Van Roy against him, dismissed.
The actor and star of the Luc Besson films Taxi 5 and Valerian, featuring Cara Delevingne and Rihanna, accused the director of raping her in May 2018, though after a nine-month investigation, the allegations were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. In protest at the decision, Van Roy’s lawyer filed a civil suit, arguing that the case had been rushed and should be reopened and re-evaluated.
Having been reopened by a second judge, the same conclusion has been reached. Denying all allegations, Besson told the French newspaper, Le Figaro, “I have never raped a woman in my life. I never raised a hand to a woman. I have never threatened a woman”. Van Roy was engaged in an intimate relationship with the influential filmmaker for two years before she filed the complaint, with eight additional women coming forward to say that they had been assaulted or harassed by Besson throughout their career.
The actor has the potential to reopen the case if new evidence is brought to the table, with Van Roy’s lawyer telling the French news agency AFP, they would be appealing the decision, adding: “The Besson affair is not over”.
Luc Besson directed the 2014 action film, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as well as co-stars, Morgan Freeman, Pilou Asbæk, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked and Lio Tipton. Known for his pulpy action, crime stories, Besson is best known for the European thrillers, Léon: The Professional, Nikita and Subway. Taking action to new and bombastic heights, he has since influenced the western world of Hollywood cinema with his 1997 film, The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis, making his name in the industry.