×

BAFTA-Nominated Director Accused of Sexual Assault by Actress

A BAFTA-nominated director has appeared in a British court accused of having sexually assaulted an actress last October. The case was heard Tuesday, just a day before the British entertainment industry announced new guidelines on harassment and bullying, which were spearheaded by BAFTA and the British Film Institute.

According to a report in The Irish Sun, Northern Irish writer-director Stephen Fingleton appeared in court to defend himself against allegations that he became “sexually aggressive” with an actress during a meeting over a future project and dragged her across the floor of her apartment.

The 34-year-old director and the actress, whose name has not been released, are said to have met at the opening night event for last year’s BFI London Film Festival in Leicester Square (Oct. 4) and again at its closing night gala Oct. 15. The court heard from prosecution counsel Philip Lemoine that the pair exchanged phone numbers and discussed plans to meet up. Lemoine said Fingleton then met with the actress at her home Oct. 23 to discuss a film project. Four days later they met again, and Fingleton “started introducing sexual references to nudity and masturbation” shortly after arriving at her apartment. He is then alleged to have attacked the woman, said to be in her 20s.

Fingleton denies the allegations, saying that there was no sexual contact between him and the actress and that any sexual references were in the context of the film project being discussed to determine whether she would suit the role.

The filmmaker won the Irish Film and Televison Academy’s Rising Star award in 2016. His debut feature, “The Survivalist,” which featured on Hollywood’s The Black List of best unproduced scripts in 2013, was nominated for four Irish Film and Television Academy awards; won the Douglas Hickox Award at the British Independent Film Awards for best debut feature; and was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer. He had previously been named as a BAFTA “Breakthrough Brit” in 2015.

On Wednesday, BAFTA and the BFI led more than 20 British industry groups in announcing a new set of guiding principles and industry guidelines on how to tackle harassment and bullying. These include training schemes on dealing with harassment and a 24-hour helpline that will be introduced in April, as well as eight core principles that cover employer and employee responsibilities.

More Film

  • Writers Guild Posts Scathing Video Attack

    Writers Guild Posts Scathing Video Attack on Agency Packaging

    The Writers Guild of America, which is threatening to require members to fire their agents, has posted a scathing video attacking how major agencies conduct packaging. Titled “Agency Conflicts of Interest,” the video explains that compensation for writers has declined by 23% between 2014 and 2016 and blames the agencies for taking packaging fees on [...]

  • CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist

    CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist Entertainment Partners

    TPG Capital, the massive private equity firm that owns Creative Artists Agency, is buying payroll specialist Entertainment Partners for an undisclosed price. Entertainment Partners’ management team, led by president and CEO Mark Goldstein, will continue in their roles. The agreement was announced Tuesday with plans to close the deal during the second quarter. “We’re thrilled [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Threatening to Throw 'Industry Into Chaos'

    UPDATE – The dealmakers appear to be getting nowhere. Negotiators for Hollywood agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved little progress at their seventh session on Tuesday, with a chaotic scenario looming on April 7. “When Guild leadership is ready to move on from their declared threatening phase, we stand ready to work [...]

  • Zoe Lister-Jones The Craft

    'The Craft' Remake Finds Director in Zoe-Lister Jones

    “Life in Pieces” star Zoe Lister-Jones will write and direct Sony Pictures’ remake of “The Craft” for Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment. Doug Wick, the producer of the original “The Craft,” will return in the same capacity along with partner Lucy Fisher through their Red Wagon banner. Jason Blum is also producing and his Blumhouse [...]

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett's Mother-Daughter Story 'Carrie and Me' in Development as a Movie

    Carol Burnett’s bestseller “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story” is in the works as a movie at Focus Features with Burnett, Tina Fey, Eric Gurian, and Steven Rogers producing. Burnett will produce through her Mabel Cat Productions with Fey and Gurian under their production banner Little Stranger along with Rogers (“I, Tonya”). The sibling [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content