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‘Anatomy of a Fall’ actor Theis faces rape investigation

French actor and director Samuel Theis faces a rape probe amid allegations from a 27-year-old technician.

French investigators have opened a rape probe into actor and film director Samuel Theis, the star of the Golden Globe-winning film “Anatomy of a Fall”.

Prosecutors in Metz in eastern France confirmed that a preliminary investigation is under way following a criminal complaint filed in late July.

A second complaint was filed in mid-November, they added.

The alleged rape took place last summer during the filming of a movie called “Je le jure” (“I swear”) directed by Theis.

A 27-year-old technician said he had been forced into a sexual act after people working on the shoot gathered for drinks in an apartment.

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Theis, 45, told AFP that he had had “consensual oral sex” with the man the morning after the party.

An internal investigation was launched when the technician texted him that he felt he was the victim of “sexual assault”.

In a statement, Theis said that the months-long investigation found “no conclusive evidence” or “any information that could characterise misconduct” and asked people to respect the “presumption of innocence”.

Theis was kept apart from the rest of the crew for the remainder of the shoot, directing the film from a distance.

A source close to the case told AFP the movie’s producers wanted both to complete the filming and take the technician’s allegations seriously.

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“Given the circumstances and some people’s reactions, this protocol was the lesser evil, even if it was difficult to bear for the director, who inevitably felt shut out of his own shoot,” Theis told AFP.

Theis plays the husband of a woman charged with killing him by pushing him off a balcony in “Anatomy of a Fall”. It won top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May as well as two Golden Globes this week and is also tipped for Oscar success.

Theis has yet to be interviewed by investigators and said he found out about the criminal complaint in the press.

“Samuel Theis must answer this allegation in a strictly judicial framework, without feeling obliged to make his defence public,” the statement from his lawyer Marie Dose added.

It alleged that some claims being made about him were “as insidious as they are false”.

– By: © Agence France-Presse

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