French court dismisses rape case against director Luc Besson

Paris (AFP) – The Paris Court of Appeals confirmed Tuesday that the rape allegation against French film director Luc Besson had been dismissed.

Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy sued Besson, the director of “The Fifth Element” and “Leon”, of raping him over a two-year on-off relationship with him in May 2018.

Prosecutors dismissed the case in February 2019 for lack of evidence, but a new investigation began later that year when Van Roy raised new charges.

A French magistrate closed the case in December 2021, and prosecutors requested the case be dropped in April.

Besson has always denied the allegations, describing the 2019 incident as an “A to Z lie.”

“The court has found my client’s innocence… Luc Besson regrets the lost four years,” his lawyer Thierry Marambert said after the verdict.

However, Van Roy’s attorney Antoine Gitton said he would immediately appeal his client to the French Court of Dissolution.

Besson admitted to dating Van Roy, who appeared in minor roles in the films ‘Taxi 5’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’.

She filed her first complaint of rape in May 2018, hours after she met Besson, and two months later filed another complaint of rape and sexual assault.

At least three other women have made allegations of sexual harassment against Besson, but he has always denied all accusations.

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