Filmmaker Luc Besson is still under judicial review in France as an "assisted witness" as his rape case with Belgian actress Sand Van Roy continues.
Examining magistrate Marie-Claire Noiriel assigned the new status following a private hearing with Besson on Monday, which was part of an ongoing judicial review sparked by a civil complaint filed by Van Roy, who appeared in the director's movies Taxi 5 and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, in March, 2019.
The assisted witness status doesn't mean Besson has been cleared of charges and that the case has been dismissed by the judge - it suggests evidence isn't conclusive enough for an indictment at this time. A new investigation could still be launched by the judge if new information emerges.
"We think this judicial review is now nearing a conclusion because the investigation has been very thorough - every stone has already been turned and (every) detail unearthed," Besson's lawyer Thierry Marembert told Variety.
The prosecutor previously dismissed rape allegations against Besson in February 2019, citing a lack of evidence, after a nine-month investigation sparked by Van Roy's accusations in May 2018. Her lawyer, Francis Szpiner, filed a civil complaint a month later.
A new judge reopened the case and has been scrutinising the evidence ever since, while police officials have been interviewing additional people, including Besson's former wife, Maiwenn, and his former partner, Anne Parillaud.
Van Roy's attorney is now expected to request a hearing between the actress and Besson.