Top French court drops rape case against filmmaker Luc Besson

French director Luc Besson poses as he arrives on 20 May, 2016 for the screening of the film "The Last Face" at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. The Court of Cassation will deliver its verdict on an appeal by Sand Van Roy in a case of accusations of rape against Luc Besson on 21 June, 2023.

France's top appeals court on Wednesday rejected a request to reopen a rape claim against film director Luc Besson, ending one of the most high-profile cases to emerge in the country's MeToo movement against sexual assault.

Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy accused Besson, director of ‘The Fifth Element’ and ‘Leon’ -- of raping her during a two-year on-off relationship, and filed a complaint against him in May 2018.

Prosecutors dropped the case in February 2019 citing a lack of evidence, and after new charges were filed by Van Roy, an appeals court also closed that case in May last year.

In a ruling seen by AFP, the Cour de Cassation, the court of last resort for criminal cases, said there was "no reason to justify pursuing an appeal" of the previous rulings.

"The Cour de Cassation has decided not to hear my appeal, which means once again the French judiciary refuses to examine the evidence in this case," Van Roy said on Twitter.

"I will pursue these cases and will file a request with the European Court of Human Rights," she said.

A lawyer for Besson, who has denied the claims, said the decision "ends all the procedures of the past five years, which have found him not guilty".

Besson has admitted having a relationship with Van Roy, who had minor roles in his films ‘Taxi 5’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’.

She filed the initial complaint for rape in May 2018 hours after meeting Besson, before filing another complaint two months later for other alleged rapes and sexual assaults.

At least three other women have made allegations of sexual harassment against Besson, which he has also denied.