The Paris Court of Appeal has dismissed a series of rape charges against French director Luc Besson. The director of ‘Nikita’ and ‘The Big Blue’ was accused by Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy in 2018 of raping her repeatedly for two years. Prosecutors dismissed the case in early 2019, citing a lack of evidence, but reopened the investigation in the same year, when Ms. Van Roy put forward new charges. Besson’s attorney said the court upheld his client’s innocence. “About ten procedural steps of Ms. Van Roy all ended in the same way. Luc Besson regrets these lost four years,” added Thierry Marembert.
Sand Van Roy’s attorney Antoine Gitton said the case had become “sordid news” and announced his intention to appeal the decision. The case was one of the controversies that characterized the era of the #MeToo movement in France.
Van Roy accused Besson of raping her just hours after their meeting at a hotel in Paris in May 2018. But the original investigation ended when French prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to pursue a case. . In December, an investigating magistrate issued a dismissal order against the case citing the plaintiff’s “absence of any material evidence” and prosecutors called for dismissal last month.
At least three other women accused the 63-year-old director of sexual misconduct in court testimony. Besson has always denied these allegations. In 2019, she described the complaints against him as an “A-to-Z lie”.
The director had previously described Sand Van Roy, who appeared in his films ‘Taxi 5’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’, as a “playmaker”, although he admitted having a sexual relationship with her. Besson, who is a director, producer and screenwriter, is also known for several other films of him, such as ‘Subway’, ‘Leon’ and ‘The Fifth Element’.