An investigation has been opened, relating to an accusation of rape against the director Samuel Theis, also an actor in the multi-award winning film Anatomy of a Fall , who called, Tuesday January 9, to respect his “presumption of innocence.”
At the end of July, a complaint was filed and a preliminary investigation is underway, the public prosecutor of Metz communicated to Agence France-Presse (AFP), confirming information from Télérama . A complaint with a civil party was also filed in mid-November, he added.
According to the version reported by Télérama , the facts would have occurred at the end of June 2023, during the filming of I swear , with Louise Bourgoin and Marina Foïs. A 27-year-old technician believes he was forced to have sexual intercourse after an evening in the apartment rented by the production, when he was not able to express his consent or refusal. He reportedly left the set a few days later, in agreement with the production.
An internal investigation launched
Asked by AFP, Samuel Theis, 45, ( Party Girl in 2013, Petite Nature in 2021), believes he “had consensual oral sex” with the complainant, the morning after the party.
An internal investigation was launched when the technician returned to him by SMS a few days later, expressing his discomfort and telling him he had the impression of having been the victim of a “sexual assault” . According to the director’s press release, this investigation lasting several months concluded that there was no “probative evidence” and “any element likely to characterize wrongful behavior” . The director was not heard by the courts and said he learned of the complaint through the press.
“Samuel Theis must be able to respond to this accusation in a strictly judicial framework, without feeling forced to make his defenses public,” details the press release, sent by his lawyer, M e Marie Dosé. He denounces the circulation of information “as insidious as it is erroneous” .
A containment protocol put in place
After the events, a strict and unusual protocol of confinement for the filmmaker was put in place, physically separated from his team for the remainder of the shoot, which he directed remotely.
This device was imagined by the producers to reconcile taking into account the complainant’s words and the continuation of filming, a source close to the matter explained to AFP. An insurance system has been created to cover filming interruptions in the event of accusations of sexual violence, but is only triggered after a complaint.
“Given the circumstances and the reactions of some, this protocol was a lesser evil, even if it was difficult to bear for the director, who necessarily felt excluded from his own filming,” Samuel Theis told the ‘AFP.