Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez, a frequent collaborator of American horror filmmaker Eli Roth, has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment by multiple women. The report published yesterday said Lopez, whose humorous films have brought him success in Chile, was accused of summoning the women to casting calls or work meetings either at his production company or at his home, where he sought to induce them to have sex in exchange for promises of work.
Eight women accused Lopez, whose credits include Roth’s Aftershock, The Green Inferno and Knock Knock, of inappropriate behaviour including unwanted kissing, requests that women touch him and masturbating in front of one woman, in a story published on Saturday in Sabado, a weekend magazine of the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lopez has denied the allegations. He said there were “many jokes, things one says,” but he denied ever doing anything “serious or criminal.” But the cover story in Sabado magazine, owned by the mass-circulation El Mercurio newspaper, quoted several of the women as describing pressure from Lopez to have sex.
“He projected onto a giant screen a video showing him having sex with a famous Chilean television personality,” actress and journalist Daniela Ginestar told Sabado magazine, which is owned by the newspaper El Mercurio.
Ginestar said Lopez, who is 35, had masturbated in front of her. “I wanted to escape, but he told me that if these things shocked me I should find another line of work,” she said.
Other actresses were quoted as accusing him of forcibly kissing them or making sexual propositions at film festivals, parties or even work meetings. “I thought we were just going to talk about work, but the situation ended up being extremely uncomfortable,” said Josefina Montane, a well-known actress and model, describing a 2014 meeting with Lopez in Santiago. “He literally asked me if he could grab my tit.”
Three of the writer-director’s accusers are well-known actresses while two worked with him on his Que Pena Tu Vida trilogy. Following the story, Lopez’s attorney Paula Vial released a statement to several newspapers defending his client and threatening legal action.
“We are convinced that Nicolas is not an abuser,” it read, citing “false” and “decontextualised” statements in the story.
In April, Chilean prosecutors opened an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against director Herval Abreu, known as the “czar” of Chilean telenovelas.