By Catarina Demony
LISBON (Reuters) – American writer and filmmaker A.M. Lukas has accused “White Lines” actor Nuno Lopes of drugging and raping her in 2006, in a filing lodged just days before a one-year window to sue over historic sexual abuse expires.
Lopes denied any wrongdoing and said he would not be afraid to take legal action against anyone who tried to defame him.
“I would never drug anyone and I would never take advantage of a woman who was incapacitated, whether due to excessive alcohol or the influence of any other substances,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Neither today nor 17 years ago.”
Lukas lodged a lawsuit in federal court in New York on Monday against the Portuguese actor, now 45, who starred in the Netflix mystery thriller series White Lines.
The filing was seen by Reuters and the incident is said to have occurred after a premiere party linked to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2006. Lukas’ lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Lukas, who directed romantic comedy Hollidaysburg, filed her claim under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which expires on Thursday. It gave adults one year to sue over historic sexual abuse, even if statutes of limitations have expired.
Lukas had a forensic examination for sexual assault done the day after the incident at a hospital and “reported the rape to the police,” the court filing says.
More than 2,500 actions have been filed under the act, many of them against county jails and state prisons, media reports say. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm those numbers.
In a statement, the law firm representing Lukas, Wigdor LLP, said the alleged rape “caused severe psychological and emotional trauma that Lukas must manage to this day”, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We cannot accept a world in which perpetrators of heinous, inhumane behaviour are able to live their lives out in the open, with impunity and no social consequences, while their victims suffer in silence,” Lukas said in a statement.
Lukas’ case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Aislinn Laing and Bernadette Baum)