Lars von Trier denies sexually harassing Bjork: 'I hugged her'

Jacob Stolworthy
JN Davidson/SHM/REX/Shutterstock

Lars von Trier has commented on the sexual harassment allegations made against him by Björk.

The Danish filmmaker, whose new serial killer film The House That Jack Built recently caused mass walkouts upon its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, was accused of harassment by the singer last year having starred in his 2000 film Dancer in the Dark.

While von Trier denied the allegations at the time, only now has he elaborated upon what he claims to have happened in a new interview with AlloCiné.

“You know, 90% of the journalists I spoke to believe that I harassed Björk, but that’s ridiculous because I denied it, but no one wrote it,” von Trier said. “Because a good story is to write that I harassed her. And this is not the case. I touched her, it’s true. I did it with all my actresses. Because she was doing a really intense job: screaming, being sick…so obviously I hugged her. But if she thinks a hug is harassment, then I think I will not be able to succeed without touching my actors."

He added: “I did not touch her in the wrong places, I think.”

Björk made the claims in a Facebook post last October alleging that an anonymous filmmaker - whom she refrained from naming - punished her when she didn't give in to his advances.

“After each take the director ran up to me and wrapped his arms around me for a long time in front of all crew or alone and stroked me sometimes for minutes against my wishes,” she said, adding: “While filming in Sweden, he threatened to climb from his room´s balcony over to mine in the middle of the night with a clear sexual intention, while his wife was in the room next door.”

In the same interview, Von Trier went on to brand the MeToo movement “a brilliant idea."