Abdellatif Kechiche is a controversial filmmaker, to say the least. He is perhaps best known for his films “The Secret of the Grain” and, of course, the Palme d’Or-winning film “Blue is the Warmest Color.” The director has been known, especially on the latter film, to be difficult to work with. But his latest controversy is perhaps much more severe. You see, Kechiche has now been accused of sexual assault.
According to THR, Kechiche was recently accused of sexual assault from an unnamed actress dating back to June 23 of this year. The actress says she was having dinner with a friend and the director. However, she blacked out and woke up with her pants open and Kechiche fondling her. The filmmaker denies the accusations.
The unnamed actress filed a complaint on October 6. Kechiche’s lawyer said in a statement that the filmmaker “categorically denies the veracity of these accusations.”
As mentioned, this isn’t the first time that the award-winning filmmaker has found himself the subject of controversy. After his film “Blue is the Warmest Color” won the top prize at Cannes, his two stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos came forward with tales of horrible working conditions on set, with the director often making them feel uncomfortable with the amount of takes and intense sex scenes he’d ask the women to engage in.
“Sometimes [I hated him],” said Seydoux, when she spoke to the Independent in 2014. She later added, “Of course it was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute.”
“The first time we filmed a sex scene, I was just laughing,” said Exarchopoulos. “I was supposed to touch myself and it was supposed to be my fantasy and then when I opened my eyes and saw her we laughed so much. We were embarrassed. And he shoots for such a long time, I was thinking, ‘Man, you can stop there!’”
She continued, “I didn’t use any tricks to make myself cry. Abdel would kill me, he hates fabrication. He wants us to really be smoking a joint and drinking beer. Sometimes too much.”
The latest accusations against Kechiche mark the third major sexual assault case that has struck French film figures. Earlier this year, Luc Besson and actor Gerard Depardieu both had assault claims brought against them.