Wed, Dec 12, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Movie director Doze Niu facing further allegations

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Movie director Doze Niu talks to reporters after being questioned at a police precinct in Taipei on Friday last week following accusations of sexual assault.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

More allegations have been brought against movie director Doze Niu (鈕承澤), who is under investigation after being accused of sexual assault on a female staff member working on the set of his most recent film.

Niu, 52, has been accused of sexually assaulting the staffer at his residence late last month, when Niu invited a few friends for drinks.

The staffer said that afterward she told her roommate what had happened and they went to a police station to report the assault on the same night.

Niu has denied the accusation, saying he and the victim had been in a romantic relationship.

“I did everything that a man would do with his girlfriend in an intimate relationship,” Niu said, describing his interaction with the woman on the night of the alleged assault.

Speaking about the case yesterday, Chou Chih-hsien (周志憲), an executive of the film’s production company, said his wife had taken the female staff member to the gathering, but then left after a few drinks, leaving them alone together.

“My wife and I had worked with Niu before and we did not think he would cross the line ... but what happened has ruined our trust in him,” Chou said.

A crew member known as “A-D” who worked with Niu on his 2014 movie Paradise in Service (軍中樂園) yesterday said that during filming Niu required that only “young, attractive females” be considered for hire as his personal assistant.

The assistant would be responsible for adjusting the cameras, taking notes, serving Niu alcoholic drinks and “soothing him” whenever he had angry outbursts during filming, A-D said.

Local media have also reported that other people who have worked on Niu’s movies have come forward during the past week, alleging that Niu is a repeat offender who used his position as director to sexually harass actresses and female staff.

It was also alleged that in past films Niu had cast himself as the male lead, and made prolonged and repeated shootings of naked bedroom scenes with stars including Janine Chang (張鈞甯) and Shu Qi (舒淇).

Women’s rights group the Awakening Foundation (婦女新知基金會) secretary-general Chin Chi-fang (秦季芳) said the case had all the hallmarks of a male abusing the power he had over female staff working under him with unequal social status, and that the justice system often ignores this aspect and the perpetrator receives only a lenient punishment.

Media pundit Wang Rui-de (王瑞德) criticized Niu’s attempt to portray the incident as him having an intimate relationship with a girlfriend.

“[Niu] kept saying he likes her and wanted to take care of her, but this does not allow you to sexually assault her... You have broken the law and are still denying it. You are acting like an animal,” Wang said.

The investigation is continuing after Taipei prosecutors, acting on the staffer’s complaint, questioned Niu on Monday last week.

He was released on Monday on NT$1.5 million (NT$48,553) bail, on condition that his travel is restricted and he is forbidden from leaving the country.

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