Björk’s manager accuses director Lars Von Trier of “verbal and physical abuse”

Icelandic star has spoken of sexual harassment at the hands of a Danish director

Björk‘s manager has backed the Icelandic musician following director Lars Von Trier’s recent response to sexual harassment allegations.

Earlier this month, the star claimed that was the victim of sexual harassment from an unnamed filmmaker who “punished” her for turning down his advances. While she referred to the assailant anonymously, she did reveal that he was of Danish nationality.

Björk worked with Danish director Von Trier on 2000’s acclaimed and award-winning Dancer in the Dark. Von Trier later denied the claims – saying that they were “not the case” and that she had in fact “delivered one of the greatest performances” from any of his films.

Von Trier’s co-producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen also said: “As far as I remember, we were victims. That woman was stronger than both Lars Von Trier and me and our company together.”

Now Björk’s manager Derek Birkett has issued a statement via Facebook, accusing Von Trier of inflicting “verbal and physical abuse” upon his client.

“I have worked with Björk for over 30 years and have never made a single statement or interview regarding our work together,” Birkett writes. “This time is different.”

“I have read the lies written by Lars and his producer Peter about Björk – and feel compelled to speak out and put the record straight. Over the last 30 years the Dancer in the Dark project is the one and only time she has fallen out with a collaborator,” he adds.

Bjork performing live

“This was a result of the directors ongoing, disrespectful verbal and physical abuse which continued after both Björk and myself demanded that he stop behaving this way. Björk completed the film out of respect for the cast and everyone involved. I feel compelled to publicly speak out in fierce support of Björk in regards to her terrible experiences working with Lars Von Trier, and I back what she has said 110%.”

Von Trier has not yet commented on these latest claims. Read Birkett’s statement in full beneath:

Following her initial claims, Björk later detailed “a list of the encounters that I think count as sexual harassment”, accusing the unnamed director of making “paralysing unwanted whispered sexual offers… with graphic descriptions, sometimes with his wife standing next to us”.

  • For help, advice or more information regarding sexual assault, visit the RAINN charity website.