KATHMANDU: Eight women have accused Colombian director Ciro Guerra of sexual harassment and assault — seven have said the filmmaker sexually harassed them, while the eighth said she had been sexually assaulted by Guerra, all between 2013 and 2019 in various cities in Colombia, France, Germany, the US and Mexico.
According to the accounts of the accusers, who chose not to reveal their identities to avoid backlash, Guerra engaged the women in “uncomfortable sexual conversations” and invited them back to his apartment or hotel, writes AFP.
He “forcefully touched them sexually, kissed them and, in one case, committed sexual abuse, even as they clearly, directly and repeatedly told him ‘no’”, AFP said.
The women also said some of the abuses took place during the Cannes Film Festival and at the Cartagena International Film Festival in Colombia. The accusers said they worked in film as actresses, costume designers or other crew members.
Guerra, who denied the accusations, said he would seek to clear his name through the legal system.
“I offer my apologies to everyone who has been affected, to everyone who has had to read these horrors, lies and malicious words. I have the peace of being innocent,” AFP quoted him as saying.
The women do not intend to file any kind of formal complaint against Guerra in an effort to avoid potential humiliation during the legal process.
Guerra is one of the most internationally famous Colombian directors, whose 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent won accolades at Cannes.