Luc Besson, the French filmmaker whose credits include The Professional, The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita, has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women. Four women had previously accused him of misbehavior, and five more recently came forward, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The claims range from inappropriate behavior to sexual assault.
One of the women who came forward with new allegations, reported by the French publication Mediapart, claimed that she was one of Besson’s former assistants and that he “blackmailed” her into a sexual relationship. She wished to remain anonymous. She claimed to have had three encounters with the director and told coworkers about it at the time; they corroborated to Mediapart that she had made them aware. She also provided a note she said Besson had written to her on hotel stationary telling her to take a bath; he also called her “princess.”
Other accusers included two students from Besson’s Cite du Cinema film studio who claimed he sexually harassed them and Karine Isambert, a theater producer who said he manhandled her in 1995 during a hotel room casting. The final new accuser was a former employee of EuropaCorp, who said he engaged in inappropriate behavior.
Besson’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.
Previously, actress Sand Van Roy filed a complaint against Besson in May, saying he’d raped her. The filmmaker denied the claim, though Paris police are still investigating the accusation. Van Roy appeared in Besson’s film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as “Creature ‘Jessica Rabbit'”; she was also in a film for which he cowrote the screenplay but did not direct, Taxi 5.
A few months after the filing, a casting director, who said she’d worked with him in the 2000s, claimed Besson assaulted her and sexually harassed an employee.