Luc Besson cleared of rape charges by French court

Luc Besson cleared of rape charges by French court

France’s highest appeals court, the court of cassation, on Wednesday dismissed rape allegations leveled against director and producer Luc Besson (Lucy, The fifth element) by Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy.

The Paris court rejected an appeal filed by Von Roy after her initial appellant, claiming she was sexually assaulted by Besson, was dismissed in 2021. In May 2018, Van Roy alleged she was raped by Besson at the Le Bristol luxury hotel in Paris. The Belgian-Dutch actress had small roles in Besson’s Taxis 5 AND Valerian and the city of a thousand planets, and had been in an intimate relationship with the director for two years.

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In a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter, Besson’s lawyer, Thierry Marembert, said that the sentence “confirms the dismissal in favor of Luc Besson and confirms all the decisions of the last five years which have declared him not guilty. It thus definitively puts an end to this proceeding initiated in 2018, during which Luc Besson was systematically acquitted by all the magistrates who examined the case. As a lawyer, I welcome this exemplary procedure, which has allowed the manifestation of the truth which is that Luc Besson is innocent.”

Besson had always maintained his innocence. The director was questioned by police on October 2 and December 11, 2018 in connection with the case, but prosecutors dropped their initial investigation in February 2019 citing lack of evidence. After Van Roy’s initial complaint, eight other women came forward saying they were assaulted or harassed by the director over the years. In October 2019 a judge ordered a second investigation into the Van Roy case, but in 2021 the director was acquitted of all charges.