The director of one of the most acclaimed lesbian love stories has been accused of sexual assault.
Abdellatif Kechiche, who directed 2013's Blue Is The Warmest Color, is being investigated by the Paris prosecutor's office over allegations that he sexually assaulted an actress (whose identity is currently not public) this summer, reports French news channel BFMTV.
According to the accuser, who is 29-years-old, she dined with the director in an apartment in Paris on June 23. After sharing several drinks with Kechiche and a mutual friend, she says she lost consciousness and woke up to find her pants undone and Kechiche groping her.
The actress filed a complaint of sexual assault on October 6.
Kechiche "categorically denies the veracity of these accusations," according to his lawyer.
However, this is not the first time Kechiche has been accused of behaving inappropriately. The young actresses who starred Blue Is The Warmest Color criticized his directing style in the film that was full of extremely graphic love scenes. They alleged he was exploitive.
“In every shoot, there are things that you can’t plan for, but every genius has his own complexity. [Kechiche] is a genius, but he’s tortured,” 19-year-old lead Adèle Exarchopoulos told The Daily Beast in 2013. “We wanted to give everything we have, but sometimes there was a kind of manipulation, which was hard to handle.”
The film required the women to spend 10 days shooting sex scenes; which led both leads Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux to say that although they admired Kechiche's talent, they would never work for him again.
"It was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute," Seydoux told The Independent. "Of course, he uses that sometimes. He was using three cameras, and when you have to fake your orgasm for six hours... I can't say that it was nothing. But for me, it is more difficult to show my feelings than my body.”