French movie director Luc Besson is facing a 10-month prison sentence in a criminal case over the firing of his former assistant.
A prosecutor in France has recommended the 10-month suspended sentence in a hearing in the suburban city of Bobigny yesterday that saw the absence of Besson whose attorney said he trapped in traffic.
The issue that led to the case is the alleged discriminatory dismissal of a woman, Sophie F., his executive assistant who joined Besson’s company EuropaCorp in 2015. She was fired for “serious misconduct” in January 2018 and the case has been adjourned until January 8, 2020.
Sophie claims her request for a three-day vacation during a French holiday in 2017 was refused and that her physician had put her on medical leave.
EuropaCorp had seen the whole thing as a fraudulent act designed to allow Sophie to take off in an irregular manner. Over the following months, four different doctors had judged her incapable of returning to work and the case had wound up in a criminal court following an investigation by the Labor Inspector.
Luc Besson is a film director, producer, and screenwriter who has been nominated for Best Director and Best Picture for his films Leon: The Professional and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
He won the Best Director form his science-fiction action movie The Fifth Element (1997).