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Peter Aalbaek Jensen, the founder and former CEO of the Danish film company Zentropa and frequent collaborator of director Lars von Trier, has become the latest prominent figure in the film world of accused of sexual harassment.
Nine former female employees said they had experienced what they called “degradation, sexual harassment and bullying” over the last several decades, the Danish newspaper Politiken reported on Saturday.
Former female employees said that Jensen — who stepped down as Zentropa’s CEO in 2016 but still maintains a stake in the company — would grope their breasts and ask them to lie across his knee and “get spanked.”
Young female trainees were singled out for attention, Politiken wrote, ordered to “fetch nipple clamps” and handed awards at the office Christmas party if they “undressed the fastest” or had “the longest public hair.”
Jensen corroborated many of the the stories to Politiken, noting that some he could not recall some but that they “probably happened.”
“I’ll say this: I have no interest in submission and degradation,” he told the paper. “I’m interested in testing boundaries, especially where the red line is.”
Zentropa’s current CEO, Anders Kjaerhaude, told Screen Daily that the company plans to “initiate a process with our employees in order to prepare a more clear vision in regards to what is a good working place.”
In his decades at Zentropa, Jensen produced more than 70 feature films, including Susanne Bier’s Oscar-nominated “After the Wedding” and many of the films in the Dogme95 series.
He also produced most of von Trier’s films, including “Dancer in the Dark,” “Dogville” and “Melancholia.”