Sion I am accused of multiple sexual assaults – The Hollywood Reporter
Japanese director Sion Sono was accused by two women of sexual assault and of offering parts in his films in exchange for sex.
A longtime favorite of international festivals that directed Nicolas Cage and Nick Cassavetes last year Prisoners of the Land of GhostsSono, 60, has not yet responded to the allegations made in Shukan Josei weekly magazine.
An executive at a Japanese film distributor told the magazine: “Even now there is a director who has no qualms about saying ‘If you fuck me, I’ll give you a job.’ His films are acclaimed and many actresses want to star in them. He uses it to attack women like it’s nothing. That director is Sion Sono.
These allegations follow those made against director Hideo Sakaki and his friend Houka Kinoshita by multiple women last month. Japan may be on the verge of a delayed #MeToo movement.
An unnamed actress says that Sono told her that many women had been having sex with him for many years because they wanted to work in his films and that they did well in the industry thanks to him, according to Shukan Josei.
He went on to tell how after Sono offered her a part in one of his films, he attempted to force her to have sex with him. When she refused her, the director called another woman who had previously worked with him and they started performing sexual acts in front of her. While she was in shock, an assistant director who was present led her out of her. Assuming she was trying to help her, she followed him out of her, but her assistant director then attempted to take her to a love hotel.
Another actress reported that after Sono forced her into sex with job offers, she told her, “I want to fuck you while you talk to your boyfriend on the phone.” When she told him she didn’t have a boyfriend, he would say, “Well, get one, I like that kind of thing.”
Sono’s 2001 Suicide club it attracted some attention on the international festival circuit, but it was Exhibition of love (2008) which proved to be his revolutionary film, winning the FIPRESCI Prize in Berlin.
The director has since gained a cult following for his idiosyncratic style, vivid depictions of violence and eroticism, and provocative imagery.
Sono is married to Megumi Kagurazaka, a former pin-up model who has appeared in many of his films. His first child was born in 2019, two days before he was hospitalized for a heart attack, delaying the production of Prisoners of the Land of Ghosts.