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Filmmaker Luc Besson targeted in Paris rape complaint

In this March 19, 2017 file photo, Director Luc Besson poses for photographers with his Inspiration award at the Empire Film Awards show in London. French authorities are investigating a rape accusation against Besson, who denies wrongdoing. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

PARIS (AP) -- French authorities said Saturday they are investigating a rape accusation against "Valerian" filmmaker Luc Besson, who denies wrongdoing.

    A judicial official told The Associated Press that a 27-year-old woman filed a complaint Friday accusing the 59-year-old director of drugging and penetrating her at the hotel Bristol in Paris.

    The official was not authorized to be publicly named.

    BFM television and Europe-1 radio cite Besson's lawyer as saying he denies the accusations. His attorneys did not return messages from the AP.

    The reports came as the Cannes Film Festival is wrapping up; accusations of sexual misconduct and inequality in the movie industry have been prominent themes at the festival this year.

    Besson has produced nearly 100 films and written and directed many of them. His films include the "Taken" series, "The Fifth Element" and "Leon." His Europa Corp. production company didn't respond to requests for comment.

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