Samuel Theis, a French actor-director known for starring in this year’s “Anatomy of a Fall” as the husband to Sandra Hüller’s character, has been accused of sexual assault by a crew member on his new film, a French production called “Je le jure” (“I Swear”).
According to a report in Libération from January 5 (via Screen Daily), the crew member accused Theis of raping her at a party last summer when she was too drunk to consent. The alleged incident took place in Metz, France at an apartment rented for the production.
Theis told the publication the encounter was consensual, and his lawyer told Libération he has not been charged with any crime to date. The crew member quit the production immediately after the alleged assault.
Post-production is continuing on “I Swear,” but according to Libération, the production company Avenue B has forced Theis to complete the project remotely away from crew, with Theis being required to give notice to the production should he want to intervene and so that anyone who doesn’t want to collaborate with him can avoid working with him directly. Those who do can choose to visit him at the remote location.
IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Theis and Avenue B for comment.
“I Swear” stars Marina Foïs, Micha Lescot, Louise Bourgoin, and Emmanuel Salinger. The film is Theis’ third feature following “Party Girl,” which won the Camera d’Or, and “Softie,” which premiered at Cannes Critics Week in 2021. “I Swear” follows an alcoholic man selected for a jury to decide the fate of an arsonist accused of manslaughter.
According to Screen Daily, the film will be released in France by Ad Vitam but does not have a release date or an international sales agent.
Theis could be nominated for a César award later this month for his work on “Anatomy of a Fall,” but the Academy last year made the rule change that those accused or convicted of acts of sexual violence cannot attend the ceremony, though they can still be nominated.
The production company on “I Swear” Avenue B is run by producer Caroline Bonmarchand, who told LIbération that despite France’s evolving vigilance on sexual misconduct in the workplace since #MeToo, film productions are still “not equipped” to deal with such cases despite moves to require sexual violence prevention training among crew members, directors, actors, and producers.