Actress denies making ‘untrue’ sex allegation against NI film director

Bafta-nominated film director Stephen Fingleton denies the chargeBafta-nominated film director Stephen Fingleton denies the charge
Bafta-nominated film director Stephen Fingleton denies the charge
An actress has denied making an “untrue Harvey Weinstein-type” allegation of sexual assault against a Bafta-nominated film director after her meeting with him was a “total disaster”, a court has heard.

The woman had thought having Stephen Fingleton round for lunch and showing him her film would help her on her way to “becoming more famous”, jurors were told.

But Orla Daly, defending Fingleton, from Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, suggested the woman had made an “untrue” allegation against her client because the meeting was a “total disaster” and she had embarrassed herself.

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Quizzing the woman at Isleworth Crown Court, Ms Daly said the woman had “misrepresented” the nature of the pair’s meeting on October 27 2017.

She said: “When you met Stephen Fingleton you hoped it would help you on your way to becoming famous.

“Instead he effectively told you that he didn’t think very much of your film and he wasn’t interested in working with you.

“Were you concerned that your meeting had been a total disaster and you had embarrassed yourself?

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“You realised, I suggest, that you were not going to be able to raise your profile in any positive way from this meeting.

“Did you decide in the heat of the moment to make an untrue Harvey Weinstein-type allegation against him?

“You know full well that the allegations you have made against him are lies.”

But the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied she had made up the allegations.

Fingleton, 35, denies one count of sexual assault.

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The film director had met the woman at an industry party and when he told her he was looking for an actress for one of his films the pair exchanged numbers and eventually arranged to have lunch at her Fulham flat, jurors were told.

The trial continues.