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

  • Malcolm D Lee Uptown Saturday Night

    'Girls Trip' Director Malcolm D. Lee Boards 'Space Jam 2'

    “Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee is replacing Terence Nance as director of “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James, for Warner Bros. and James’ SpringHill Entertainment. The departure of Nance, creator of the HBO show “Random Acts of Flyness,” was due to differing visions between Nance and the producers for “Space Jam 2.” Warner Bros. has set [...]

  • Joker movie

    With 'Ad Astra,' 'Joker' Likely, Venice Set for Strong Showing by U.S., Bolstered by Streamers

    Brad Pitt space odyssey “Ad Astra,” Noah Baumbach’s untitled new project, “Joker” with Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” Fernando Meirelles’ “The Pope,” the new “Rambo” installment, and heist thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer, all look bound for the Venice Film Festival, sources tell Variety. The fest [...]

  • CGV's Massive Imax Screen Order Shows

    CGV's Massive Imax Screen Order Shows Optimism for Chinese Exhibition

    Korean cinema giant CGV has signed a deal with Imax to install a further 40 giant screens in movie theaters in China. The deal suggests that China’s multiplex building boom still has some way to run, and that at least one Korean company is still willing to invest in China, despite China’s currently boycott of [...]

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Second Huayi Brothers Film Is Canceled as Company's Losses Mount

    Still reeling from the cancellation of the theatrical release of its blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” production studio Huayi Brothers has been hit with another setback: Its comedy “The Last Wish” has also been quietly pulled from China’s summer lineup. Both films have fallen afoul of China’s increasingly heavy-handed censors. The unwelcome development comes as Huayi [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content