Lars von Trier denied sexually harassing Björk in a statement to Danish media on Monday after the Icelandic actress and singer revealed in a Facebook post that von Trier “punished” her for denying his advances on the set of the 2000 film “Dancer in the Dark.”
Björk did not mention von Trier by name in her post, but said that she was harassed on set by an unnamed Danish director. Von Trier is the only Danish filmmaker she has worked with.
“I became aware that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it,” Björk wrote. “When i turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where i was framed as the difficult one.”
Von Trier denied the allegations through his business partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen, who spoke with the Danish newspaper Jylannds Posten. Jensen acknowledged that there was intense conflict between von Trier and Björk, so much so that their clashes over Björk’s performance and von Trier’s bleak tone became widely reported when the film won the Palme d’Or and Best Actress prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.
“As far as I remember, we were victims,” Jensen told Jylannds Posten. “That woman was stronger than both Lars von Trier and me and our company together.”
In her post, Björk said that other actresses that have worked with von Trier in the years since “Dancer in the Dark” have praised the director and said they enjoyed working with him, leading her to believe that he has changed since their conflict.
“In my opinion he had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation so there is hope.”