French movie director Luc Besson hit by more sex assault claims

PARIS - A second woman has accused Luc Besson of sexual assault, according to reports, two months after a young actress alleged he had raped her.

The 49-year-old casting director said she was assaulted by the director "every time I took the lift with him", and that he also demanded sexual favours from her on set.

Two other women told the French website Mediapart that Besson "behaved inappropriately" with them, with one actress claiming she had to escape from a casting in his Paris office on her hands and knees.

Mediapart said the casting director had written to prosecutors and that the actress who had made the previous rape claim had levelled a further allegation against Besson.

With a string of international hits - including The Fifth Element and Nikita - and his own studio on the edge of Paris, Besson is one of the most powerful players in the French film industry.

Blood tests conducted after the rape claim was first made in May showed that the woman was not drugged. The 27-year-old actress told police she was in an on-off relationship with the 59-year-old.

She said she felt pressured into having sex to keep her roles, including in his 2017 sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.