Luc Besson cleared of raping actress

The civil suit against filmmaker Luc Besson has been dismissed, ending a six-year legal battle

Luc Besson cleared of raping actress

French filmmaker Luc Besson has been definitively cleared of raping Sand Van Roy, an actress who appeared in his film ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’, Variety reported Wednesday, citing a document from the Cour de Cassation, France’s equivalent of the Supreme Court.

The court “has determined that there doesn’t exist, at present, any means to allow for the admission of the appeal” after reviewing Van Roy’s latest submission, the document states, ordering the actress to pay Besson €2,500 and concluding her six-year legal campaign against the director.

The actress is prohibited from suing Besson on the same charges going forward, both in France and anywhere else in Europe. Van Roy, who is of Belgian and Dutch origin, had previously tried and failed to sue him in Belgium.  

“This decision confirms the dismissal in favor of Luc Besson and confirms all the decisions of the last five years which have found him not guilty,” the filmmaker’s lawyer Thierry Marambert told Variety.

Van Roy claimed she and Besson began an “abusive” affair on the set of the film and that he raped her on May 17, 2018 at Paris’ Bristol Hotel. She filed a police complaint against the director later that month and again in July 2018.

The criminal charges against Besson were dismissed by a prosecutor in Paris for lack of evidence after nine months’ investigation in February 2019. Van Roy subsequently took the case to civil court, only for it to be dismissed again in 2021 following interviews with multiple witnesses, including the mothers of Besson’s three children, and questioning of Besson himself.

Following Van Roy’s accusations in 2018, several other women made allegations of sexual misconduct against Besson, though only one would publicly attach her name and none have been proven in court. 

Besson has been working on his comeback picture after many years of financial and legal troubles, including the takeover of his film company EuropaCorp in a 2020 financial restructuring deal. The film, ‘DogMan’, is set for a world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival.