Duncan was reportedly accused of sexually harassing several people associated with the company he co-founded and financed. One June Pictures employee was allegedly told to pay sex workers on Duncan's orders.
THR reports that Duncan has denied all allegations, blaming "rivals of mine" — none of whom he specifically named in his statement — that are trying to take "cynical advantage of the news climate involving sexual harassment to undermine [June's] financial prospects."
Duncan's partner, Alex Saks, released her own statement which said she will take sole ownership of the company.
“In light of allegations of misconduct against our investor Andrew Duncan, I am assuming sole ownership and leadership of June Pictures,” Saks stated. “June Pictures is committed to a respectful work environment dedicated to producing quality films. We will continue our projects already in production and development.”
According to THR, however, Duncan's accusers claim that Saks knew of Duncan's behavior for over a year, but didn't take any actions to stop him. The allegations, which were shared anonymously by 12 "insiders" for fear of retaliation, included kissing a female crew member without her consent, grabbing another woman's bottom while embracing her, and propositioning two women for a threesome.
Duncan was also accused of offering to "purchase hotel rooms for the night if others reported their sexual activities back to him" in 2016 while filming Wildlife, Paul Dano's directorial debut, which will premiere at Sundance next year.
As for the allegations that Duncan allocated money to pay for prostitutes, the company's CFO Dori Rath told THR that she couldn't "comment on funds in a private company, but to my knowledge, I have never been directed to make payments anywhere that would not be appropriate."
The Florida Project director Sean Baker also released a statement on behalf of himself and others involved in the film, which is an Oscar frontrunner.
Baker — who also directed 2015's Tangerine — wrote that he was "grateful that we were able to fulfill our vision on our own terms; however, our personal experiences with [Duncan] were limited.
"While we did not witness nor have any knowledge of inappropriate behavior, we are of course deeply concerned about these allegations," he added. "I have been outspoken before and firmly believe that film sets and work environments absolutely must be safe spaces for everyone regardless of gender, age, race, or creed."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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