Director Lauri Törhönen Quits Culture Role After Harassment Accusations

Resignation comes after 20 women accused him of harassment.

File picture of Lauri Törhönen book / Credit: Twitter

Film director Lauri Törhönen has resigned from his role at a management company which oversees activites at the Kaapelitehdas and Suvilahti cultural venues in Helsinki.

“It was clear that Törhönen did not have the support to continue his work” Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP) wrote on Twitter.

This week, Törhönen was at the centre of accusations from 20 women who said he sexually harassed them. The cases date from the 1980s up to the 2000s. Among the accusers were students from the former Helsinki University of Art and Design where Törhönen was a professor from 1995 to 2006.

The allegations were first aired by state-funded broadcaster YLE on Wednesday evening’s A-Studio programme.

By Thursday, Törhönen released a statement saying he apologized for anyone he harassed by looking or touching, but he did not address any specific accusations.

Törhönen, 70, is best known for his films including war drama ‘Raja 1918’ (known as ‘The Border’ in English); and directing several of the movie-length ‘Vares’ dramas. He has been awarded the State Film Prize for Filmmaking.