A Paris prosecutor has dismissed rape allegations against French director Luc Besson for lack of evidence after a nine-month investigation, Variety has confirmed.
The preliminary investigation was launched last May after Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy filed a report accusing Besson of raping her in a Paris hotel room.
The French prosecutor’s office said Monday in a statement to Variety that the allegations were dismissed because the police investigation did not yield proof of the offense. Besson was questioned by police once, on Oct. 2, 2018, and was brought before Van Roy as part of the investigation on Dec. 11, 2018.
Besson has consistently denied Van Roy’s allegations. In a statement, his lawyers said that Besson learned with “satisfaction” of the prosecutor’s decision to dismiss the case. The statement also said the director regrets that some people had “hastily condemned him and thanks the ones whose constant support allowed him to face these difficult months.”
Van Roy could not be reached for comment.
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The actress, who had a small part in “Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets,” filed two complaints accusing Besson of sexual assault. The first was filed May 18, 2018, and alleged that she and Besson had an abusive affair which began on the shoot of “Valerian” and culminated in a rape on the night of May 17 at the Bristol Hotel in Paris. The second complaint, filed on July 6, 2018, accused Besson of repeated violent sexual relations between March 2016 and May 2018.
Besides Van Roy, eight other women – two former assistants, two casting directors, two students, an actress and a former model who aspired to become an actress, Karine Isambert – came forward to French investigative website Mediapart with allegations of sexual misconduct and assaults by Besson.
The eight women included an L.A.-based actress in her 40s who wrote a letter to the French prosecutor on Feb. 13 to report an alleged assault that occurred in the early 2000s. The actress, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, said the incident happened when she visited Besson in his Paris office for a meeting following an audition. She said he “pounced on [her] like a bear” and that she was able to escape only by dropping to the floor and crawling out of the room.
Isambert is the only other woman, besides Van Roy, to have spoken on the record, and only Van Roy has filed a police complaint.