Seven months after the Paris prosecutor dismissed rape allegations against Luc Besson citing a lack of evidence, a French judge has reopened an investigation into claims filed by the French-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy, according to the AFP. The reopening of the investigation by a judge stems from Van Roy’s civil complaint filed in March by her lawyer, Francis Szpiner.
In the complaint, Szpiner said the preliminary investigation conducted between May 2018 to February 2019 by the Paris prosecutor was “rushed and incomplete,” according to French website Mediapart. The judge will now review all the elements of the investigation initially conducted by the prosecutor and can either dismiss it or launch a new investigation.
Besson’s lawyer, Thierry Marembert, told the AFP they are “hopeful the judge who will discover the case will come to the same conclusion as the prosecutor who’s followed the case for more than a year.”
The preliminary investigation was launched in May 2018 after Van Roy filed a report accusing Besson of raping her in a Paris hotel room. The actress, who had a small part in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” 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, 2018, at the Bristol Hotel in Paris. She then filed a second complaint on July 6, 2018, accusing Besson of repeated violent sexual relations between March 2016 and May 2018.
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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 Mediapart with allegations of sexual misconduct and assaults by Besson. But only Van Roy filed a police complaint.
Besson’s production company, EuropaCorp, which was already financially struggling before the rape allegations, is in the process of being taken over by New York- based Vine Alternative Investments. The director’s latest film, “Anna,” released in June, grossed approximately $30 million worldwide.