February 25, 2019 / 4:19 PM / a year ago

French prosecutors drop rape investigation against filmmaker Luc Besson

FILE PHOTO: Director Luc Besson arrives for the screening of the movie Eva at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin,Germany, February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

PARIS (Reuters) - French prosecutors have dropped a preliminary investigation into rape allegations against film director Luc Besson, the public prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

Prosecutors in Paris opened an investigation in May last year, which according to police sources followed allegations by a 27-year-old actress that she had been raped by Besson after meeting him at a hotel in the French capital. Besson had denied the allegations.

The case was dropped after “numerous investigations” which did not lead judicial police to fully stand up the claim, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The “Nikita” and “Taken” director welcomed prosecutors’ announcement, his lawyer Thierry Marembert said.

“This decision follows a very thorough investigation carried out by judicial police, which (Besson) fully cooperated with,” he said.

Shares in his production company EuropaCorp rose more than 15 percent on the news.

Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry, Writing by Sarah White, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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