The allegations were made by two former students at Besson’s film school, two former assistants at EuropaCorp and a former model who aspired to become an actress, Karine Isambert. Only Isambert spoke on the record; the other accusers spoke to Mediapart on condition of anonymity.
Contacted by Variety, EuropaCorp declined to comment on the new accusations.
Besson is under investigation in Paris as a result of allegations by Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy that Besson raped her in May. He was questioned by police last month.
In the Mediapart report, which was posted online Wednesday, a former student at Besson’s school, l’Ecole de la Cité, alleged that she was sexually harassed by Besson in 2015 while on an internship with him after her second year in the school. She was later hired by Besson to work as an assistant. The young woman told Mediapart that she endured unwanted kiss and hugs. She is the only one of the five women in the new report to have spoken to police, which happened in mid-July, Mediapart said.
Another accuser said she was hired by Besson to assist him at EuropaCorp in the 2000s after having been coerced into a sexual relationship with him at a time when she was struggling financially. During her brief stint at EuropaCorp, she said she was coerced into having two other sexual encounters with the filmmaker before she quit the job.
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Isambert, a former model who met Besson for what she thought was an audition back in 1995, told Mediapart that he sexually harassed her during their meeting and grabbed her against her will.
The new report Wednesday comes on top of a previous Mediapart investigation in which four other women, including Van Roy, accused Besson of sexual misconduct. One was a casting director who wrote to the Paris prosecutor shortly after Van Roy filed her rape allegation. Another casting director who had worked with Besson spoke to the police in mid-September, according to Mediapart.