Spain | Three women accuse a filmmaker of sexual violence

(Barcelona) Three other women indicated having suffered sexual violence from the Spanish filmmaker Carlos Vermut, in an investigation published Tuesday by the daily El País who revealed in January three initial testimonies relating to similar facts.

These three women, who wished to remain anonymous, accuse this 43-year-old figure of independent cinema of having forced them into non-consensual sexual practices between October 2012 and January 2024.

“They were very brutal relationships, he hurt me a lot,” one of them told the daily. Another described “beatings, strangling, verbal humiliation.”

The third, an actress who had a relationship with Vermut between March 2023 and January 2024, recounted two episodes of non-consensual sexual violence and “psychological manipulation” in recent months.

Like the first three women who testified in January, these three women did not file a complaint against the filmmaker for fear of not being believed, according to El País.

The director did not react to these new accusations, but he denied the first ones in January, while admitting to having “strangled people, yes, but in a consensual manner”.

Vermut, whose real name is Carlos López del Rey, is a figure in independent Spanish cinema. His second feature film, Magical Girl (The Girl of Fire), acclaimed by critics, won the most prestigious prize at the San Sebastian festival in 2014, a major event for Spanish-speaking cinema.

The accusations against Vermut constituted a first #metoo in Spanish cinema. Several big names in the sector have condemned this violence.

In a country where the fight against sexism is a political priority, the Ministry of Culture announced the creation of a unit specializing in the care of victims of sexist violence in the cultural sector.

Since the start of the #metoo movement in 2017, figures from the world of cinema have been accused of sexual violence in many countries, like, in France, the actor Gérard Depardieu or the filmmakers Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon, against which the actress Judith Godrèche filed a complaint.

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