Director Luc Besson, known for movies like Léon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, and more recently Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, has been reported to police on an accusation of raping a woman in France, according to multiple media outlets. Besson, through a representative, has “categorically” denied the accusation.
French radio station Europe 1 was the first to report the filing of the complaint, which the woman later confirmed to Variety. French police reportedly denied comment.
The woman requested not to be identified for the stories, though she was described by Europe 1 as a 27-year-old actress who said she had felt professionally compelled to engage in relations with Besson for the past two years. She described the alleged incident to Variety as “violent sexual assault” and claimed it happened two days ago on May 10 at the Bristol Hotel in Paris.
The woman reportedly told Europe 1 that Besson put something in her tea and she lost consciousness. She allegedly woke up to him groping and penetrating her. She says the director left her with a wad of cash at the hotel, and she went to female friend’s house afterwards.
Besson’s attorney did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment, but he told the Hollywood Reporter in a statement: “Mr. Besson fell from his chair when he learned of these accusations, which he flatly denies.” French police are reportedly investigating the claim, and Besson has not been formally charged.
Besson last directed 2017’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which starred Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. He’s been at work making Anna, a film starring Russian actress Sasha Lane in the title role, as well as Helen Mirren and Cillian Murphy.