Artist News

Björk gives more detail on sexual harassment claims against Lars Von Trier

By | Published on Wednesday 18 October 2017


Björk has given more details of the sexual harassment she says she was subjected to by a Danish film director, after Lars Von Trier denied that he ever acted inappropriately towards her. Although she has still not named the director, an aside in her latest comments seems to confirm that it is Von Trier she is speaking about.

As previously reported, in the wake of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, Björk wrote on her Facebook page about her “experience with a Danish director”. She said that having “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”.

Danish director Lars Von Trier and Björk worked together on her only movie role in 2000’s ‘Dancer In The Dark’, so putting two and two together was not massively difficult. However, questioned about the musician’s account of their time together by Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, Von Trier said: “That was not the case. But that we were definitely not friends, that’s a fact”.

Von Trier’s producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen added: “As far as I remember, we were the victims. That woman was stronger than both Lars Von Trier and me and our company put together. She dictated everything and was about to close a movie of 100 million kroner [£11.9 million]”.

In a new post, Björk detailed six “encounters that I think count as sexual harassment”. The director put his arms around her and stroked her against her wishes, she said. After two months, she asked him to stop and he “exploded and broke a chair in front of everyone on set”.

“There were constant, awkward, paralysing, [and] unwanted whispered sexual offers from him with graphic descriptions, sometimes with his wife standing next to us”, she continues. “[And] while filming in Sweden, he threatened to climb from his room’s balcony over to mine in the middle of the night with a clear sexual intention, while his wife was in the room next door. I escaped to my friend’s room. This was what finally woke me up to the severity of all this and made me stand my ground”.

After this, she says, “fabricated stories [were placed] in the press about me being difficult by his producer”. Seemingly referencing a claim prior to the release of the movie that she had ripped up and eaten part of a blouse she didn’t want to wear in a scene, she adds: “I have never eaten a shirt. Not sure that is even possible”.

She concludes: “I didn’t comply or agree [to be] sexually harassed. That was then portrayed as me being difficult. If being difficult is standing up to being treated like that, I’ll own it”.

Responding to Björk’s second post, Von Trier told Jyllands Posten: “I reject categorically all charges that Björk might have against my person. I have not had any sexual intentions in relation to Björk ever”.

Read Björk’s Facebook update in full here.