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Spanish film director accused of sexual assaults

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Spanish film director accused of sexual assaults
Carlos Vermut has been accused of sexual assault by three women in the pages of the El Pais newspaper. (Photo by Mathew Tsang / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Sexual assault accusations levelled against Carlos Vermut, a rising star of Spanish cinema, have already provoked a social media storm.

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Three women accused Spanish film director Carlos Vermut of sexual assault in an investigation published Friday in the daily newspaper El Pais that has already outrage.

None of the women, all of whom either worked in or studied the audio-visual industry, filed complaints against Vermut for fear of the effect it would have on their careers, the paper reported.

Vermut, whose real name is Carlos Lopez del Rey, is a rising star in Spain's independent cinema. In 2014, he won two top prizes at the San Sebastian Film Festival for "Magical Girl", his second feature.

The alleged assaults happened between May 2014 and February 2022, the paper reported, adding that two of the women were younger than the film-maker who is 43 years old.

One of the three women told El Pais how she had met the director in a bar. But what started as a consensual relationship with him degenerated into one in which he forced her to have unprotected sex him, she alleged.

Another of the women alleged that she had been subjected to frightening rough sex to which she had not consented.

The third woman, a student of cinema, accused Vermut of having tried to force her to have sex with him.

All three women asked to remain anonymous in the El Pais report.

Vermut, interviewed three times by El Pais, has denied all the accusations against him.

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He said he was not "aware of having practised sexual violence against any woman", although he had engaged in consensual rough sex.

The allegations have sparked outrage in Spain.

"All my love and solidarity to the victims," wrote cinema producer Agustin Almodovar, brother of award-winning director Pedro Almodovar, on X, the former Twitter.

The far-left party Sumar also posted a message of support on X.

"Many thanks to the women who had the courage to tell their stories. You are not alone," the party, which is part of the ruling left wing coalition, wrote.

Since the start of the #Metoo movement in 2017, a string of major figures from the world of cinema have been accused of sexual violence.

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