French director David Moreau has been accused of sexual assault by a crew member on his movie “King,” which wrapped filming on Oct. 9. The female crew member, whose name has not been disclosed, filed a police complaint in Montpellier, in the south of France.
The news was first reported by Le Parisien newspaper and the filing of the police complaint was confirmed to Variety by the producer of “King,” a big-budget family movie which is produced by Maneki Films, Full House and Pathé. A preliminary investigation into the claim will soon be launched by Montpellier’s prosecutors, according to Le Parisien. The complaint alleges that the sexual assault took place on Sept. 12 and 13 in Sète, in the south of France, outside the “King” shoot and working hours.
Moreau’s representative has not responded to request for comment.
The film producer told Le Parisien that she came to the set as soon as she learned of the incident and spoke to the entire cast and crew. The crew member who filed the complaint decided to leave the production at that time.
“I spent a long time listening to everyone to try to understand the situation. It was important that everyone was heard. To preserve the [peace] on the shoot, we decided to act fast while respecting the presumption of innocence,” the producer told Le Parisien.
Moreau, 44, withdrew from the shoot one week after the incident and was replaced by the film’s cinematographer Antoine Sanier during the last stretch of filming.
A crew member on the shoot told Le Parisien that the producer “reacted with a lot of courage as she did not turn a blind eye on the incident and listened to everyone.”
Moreau is best known for directing the 2008 movie “The Eye” (co-directed with Xavier Palud), starring Jessica Alba, and the French comedy “It Boy” with Virginie Efira and Pierre Niney.
The French movie industry was slow to embrace the #MeToo movement and started catching up around a year ago, following allegations made by Adele Haenel, one of the country’s most high-profile actors, who accused director Christophe Ruggia of having sexually harassed her for years from the time she was 12. Recently, every film shoot in France has been required to have an on-site counselor to prevent sexual misconduct.
France’s National Film Board (CNC) also launched last month a workshop for producers working in the film, TV and video games industries to fight sexual harassment. Going forward, producers will need to have completed the workshop and fulfilled other requirements, such as appointing an on-site counselor on shoots, in order to be eligible for all subsidies from the CNC.