Los Angeles: French film director Luc Besson has denied raping and drugging a young actress.
The director appeared on French television on Tuesday to defend himself in the wake of a rape claim made by Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy in 2018, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
"This is a lie from A to Z. I did not rape this woman. I have never raped a woman in my life," he said in an interview with news channel BFMTV.
"I have never raised a hand to a woman. I have never threatened a woman. I have never physically or morally coerced a woman. I have never drugged a woman," added teary-eyed Besson.
Van Roy filed a police report in May back in 2018 following an encounter at a Paris hotel. The "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" maker was questioned by police later, on October 2 and on December 11, 2018. Police dropped the investigation in February this year.
Van Roy then filed a judicial appeal to reopen the investigation, which was decided in her favour on Friday.
A teary-eyed Besson framed the relationship as a long-term affair, though he admitted to a power imbalance.
"There was a relationship of subordination," he said.
Besson added the affair was one of many.
"I betrayed my wife and my children. It did not only happen once, it happened several times during our 20 years of marriage," he said.
Since Van Roy filed charges, eight additional women came forward with allegations of sexual assault or harassment.
"These women are talking about situations I do not know," he said.
Besson added his past behaviour may have inconvenienced women, but that any harassment was unintentional.
"It's never been inappropriate, not voluntarily in any case, but I understand that one could have taken it wrong. I behaved in a manner that may have embarrassed someone, I apologise for it, it was involuntary, and now I'll be careful," he said, adding: "I apologise to these women if they suffered."