Chilean film director Nicolas Lopez accused of sexual harassment

SANTIAGO – Famed Chilean film director Nicolas Lopez has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment by multiple women in a new report.

Eight women accused the writer-director, whose credits include Roth’s Aftershock, The Green Inferno and Knock Knock, of inappropriate behavior including unwanted kissing, requests that women touch him, and masturbating in front of one woman in a story published Saturday in Sabado, a weekend magazine of the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

Three of his accusers are well-known actresses, according to CNN Chile. Two worked with him on his Que Pena Tu Vida trilogy.

#MeToo: Morgan Freeman accused of harassment by 8 women

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 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.

Another woman, Maria Vidaurre, says that Lopez asked her to a late-night casting meeting as his home, where he told her she should stop wearing bras and pushed her against a wall, forcibly kissed her and pressed an erection against her.

The model Bernadita Cruz said he grabbed her breast, while Que Pena Tu Vida trilogy actress Andrea Velasco, who has worked with Lopez, said that Lopez and business partner Miguel Asensio practiced discriminatory business tactics, blacklisting Velasco after she attempted to negotiate pay on the third Que Pena Tu Vida film after getting low pay on the first two.

Lopez gained fame through his trilogy Que pena tu vida, Que pena tu boda and Que pena tu familia, before in 2005 directing Santos, a film about a failed comic artist.

In April, Chilean prosecutors opened an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against director Herval Abreu, known as the “czar” of Chilean telenovelas.