Prominent German TV director dies accused of rape

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Dieter Wedel, one of Germany’s best-known television directors and scriptwriters, has died, a court considering a sexual abuse case brought against him said on Wednesday. He was 82 years old.

The Munich state court said Wedel died in Hamburg on July 13, the German news agency dpa reported. He was accused of raping an aspiring actress in a Munich hotel in 1996.

Wedel was best known for a series of popular television shows in the 1990s and early 2000s. He later ran an open-air theater festival in Bad Hersfeld in central Germany.

She was the first prominent figure in the country named when the #MeToo movement against suspected sex offenders in the media and the arts gained momentum in Germany four years ago.

Wedel has denied allegations by several women that he pressured them into sex and denied rape charges filed in March 2021. That case will be closed after his death.

His lawyers said Wedel died after a long illness and criticized media coverage of the case, according to dpa.

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