So far, nine women in total have accused French blockbuster director Luc Besson of sexual misconduct, with accusations going from rape to sexual assault. It is quite the fall from grace for Mr Besson, who is one of the most successful European filmmakers. The director of movies like ‘Nikita’, Léon’,’ Lucy’, ‘the fifth element’, the different ‘taxi’ movies and ‘le grand bleu’ denies all allegations. For France, it is their version of the Weinstein affair.
Today, one of the accusers, 27-year-old actress Miss Sand Van Roy (pictured) detailed the director’s behaviour. During a five hour police confrontation, both Besson and Van Roy gave their version of he facts and the young actress told French media afterwards that the interviews went quite well. "Sitting in a room for hours with a man who raped you, that's heavy," she stated.
Miss Van Roy also says that it was good to be able to tell her story and to be able to refute his version on several points. "His story rattled all along."
In order for the director of blockbusters like 'Nikita', 'Léon', 'The Fifth Element', 'Le Grand Bleu' and the 'Taxi' series not to be able to intimidate her, the man had to sit with his back to the victim.
The two did not have eye contact with each other during their 'conversation'. "Very bizarre, yes", according to Sand.
Perhaps no trial
The accusations against French star director Besson are in a way their own version of the MeToo movement and whenever a new actress accuses him, French media is all over it.
Whether the testimony of Miss Van Roy will lead to a court case is unknown at this point. Sand hopes that the glitches in his statement and the testimonies of other victims will lead to a conviction for the director. Meanwhile, Luc Besson continues to deny all the accusations against him.
Besides Sand there are at least eight other women who have now filed a complaint against the French filmmaker, who has been nicknamed 'the French Weinstein' ever since the accusations surfaced. The testimonies vary from sexual assault to rape.
Personal Barbie Doll
Sand saw Besson for the first time during the casting of 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets', a blockbuster which garnered 200 million euros worldwide, a serious turnover for a European picture.
Besson had a small role for her, but with text and in a worldwide movie that would be promoted like a major blockbuster. Phenomenal of course for a model that never acted. Even more phenomenal: the big boss came to judge her himself. When he heard that she was also living on the Parisian Champs-Elysées he went over that same evening to see her again.
The relationship between the two soon deteriorated. Besson blasted her on set whenever she dared to eat something with a lot of calories while he buttered his daily six croissants. He forced her to wear short skirts and demanded that she walked on set wearing high heels and sexy clothes at all times.
"I was his personal Barbie doll he could make or break," she said. If she wanted more film roles, she had to let him do whatever she wanted. It eventually became a game of rape and dominance for years. "What he wanted was not what I wanted, but I also did not want to bury my movie career before it started. I invented excuses, like I was a lesbian. Without fault he called me every day since our first meeting until a few months ago.”
Besson raped her several times. She remembers once napping on set and waking up with Besson on top of her while he penetrated her. "'You see that you're not a lesbian,' he grinned when she pushed him away.
"Your fault for looking so nice when you're asleep," he told her.
Eventually everything came to a breaking point at the Cannes Film Festival at the beginning of this year. "He hurt me so badly that I told him to stop. He did not. The harder I abandoned, the fiercer he was. I got a blackout and when I came back to my senses he was still going. When it was over, I whispered in his ear: "I know who you are. You are transparent to me."
“I got up, stepped into the bathroom, and then he hit me from behind and I fell down. The next day I called my mother, who is a doctor, and she told me to file a complaint. And I did, on May 18th. The same day I received a phone call from the movie producers asking me to withdraw it. The next day Luc called me with the same message. That's the last time I've heard him. "
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