July 19, 2024

Sources: France detains two filmmakers over claims of sexual abuse against minors as more victims come forward

Sources: France detains two filmmakers over claims of sexual abuse against minors as more victims come forward


PARIS, July 1 — French authorities today detained leading film directors Benoit Jacquot and Jacques Doillon for questioning over accusations of sexual abuse, sources close to the case said.

An AFP journalist saw both men, who have denied the allegations, arrive at a Paris police station this morning, accompanied by their lawyers.

Judith Godreche, a 52-year-old actor and director, has formally accused Jacquot of rape and Doillon of sexual assault when she was a minor, accusations both men deny.

She has described Jacquot of having an unhealthy “hold” over her during a relationship with him that started when she was 14, from in 1986 to 1992.

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She has accused Doillon of abuse on set when she acted in one of his films.

Fellow actor Isild Le Besco, 41, has also formally accused Jacquot of raping her between 1998 and 2007 during a toxic relationship that started when she was 16 and he was 52.

Actor Julia Roy, 34, has also filed a complaint against him for sexual assault, during “a context of violence and moral constraint which lasted several years”, a source close to the case said.

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The director’s lawyers said there had been no need to detain them in order to question them, and stressed they should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Jacquot’s lawyer, Julia Minkowski, said her client would “finally be able to express himself before the law”.

French director Jacques Doillon arrives for the screening of the film ‘Tout s’est Bien Passe’ (Everything Went Fine) at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes July 7, 2021. — AFP pic

Doillon’s attorney, Marie Dose, said no legal criteria could justify his being detained for questioning “36 years” after the incident alleged by Godreche.

The sources close to the case said their interrogation could include a confrontation with the person or persons accusing them.

Godreche on Instagram wrote she was deeply moved that police had finally summoned the two directors.

“I’m crying… From all this… I don’t know if I have the strength but I will have it. I will have it… For her,” she wrote, posting a picture of her teenage self next to Jacquot, 25 years her senior.

The French film industry is reeling from accusations it has too long provided cover for abuse, including after a series of allegations against 75-year-old screen legend Gerard Depardieu, all of which he denies.

Since breaking her silence, Godreche has become a leading voice in France’s #MeToo movement.

After she appealed for a cinema oversight body, parliament in May voted to create a commission to investigate sexual and gender-based violence in the film industry and other cultural sectors. — AFP



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