MeToo French actors criticize sexual abuse of teenagers by directors.com2F3a2F182F5bc5a43746a7771b8361d288b6b62F9a12bb946dd9459db8c00af7f1f11a7a

#MeToo: French actors criticize sexual abuse of teenagers by directors

PARIS (AP) — As French cinema rejoices in the Oscars, actors who claim they were victims of sexual and physical abuse as teenagers by directors decades their senior are shedding light on the disgusting underbelly of the country's industry.

The latest move in the #MeToo movement could come at Friday's French cinema awards.

French media reports that Judith Godrèche will give a speech about sexual violence at the Cesar Awards, France's version of the Oscars, which will be broadcast live on television.

Godrèche has already sent a strong message to the public in recent interviews in which she denounced an “omerta” in the industry.

A sign of Eneos is seen in Tokyo on Thursday, February 22, 2024.  The head of a renewable energy subsidiary of leading Japanese refiner Eneos Holdings has been fired over sexual harassment allegations, the companies said on Wednesday, as awareness of the #MeToo movement grows in the country.  (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)FILE - Actor Gerard Depardieu poses for photographers during a photocall for the film Valley of Love at the 68th International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 22, 2015. The Grévin wax museum in Paris has removed the wax figure of French actor Gerard Depardieu due to negative comments Reactions from visitors, the museum announced on Monday.  (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

French cinema is expected to shine at next month's Oscars with Justine Triet's legal drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

Godrèche, 51, is well known to French filmgoers. She recently accused two film directors of rape and sexual abuse when she was a teenager. She formally filed a complaint at the beginning of the month, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

She accuses film director Benoît Jacquot, with whom she had a six-year relationship that began when she was 14, of rape and physical abuse. Jacquot, a well-known director in France, is 25 years her senior.

She also accuses another film director, Jacques Doillon, of sexual abuse when he directed a film when he was 15. Doillon is 28 years older than her.

Both Jacquot and Doillon have denied the allegations.

Earlier this month, Godrèche told France Inter radio that she was never attracted to Jacquot, “but in the end I ended up with him, in his bed, and I was the wife of his child.” Godrèche and Jacquot met in 1986 on the set of his film “The Beggars”.

“I was indoctrinated, it was like I had joined a cult,” she said. The relationship was marred by violence, imprisonment and control, she said.

Godrèche had previously spoken about her relationship with Jacquot without mentioning him by name in an autobiographical TV show called “Icon of French Cinema” that aired in December.

She was one of the actors who spoke out against US film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 as part of the #MeToo movement, accusing him of sexual assault when she was 24 years old.

Jacquot told Le Monde newspaper that he was “not directly disturbed” by the allegations against Godrèche, with whom he fell in love at the time. He denied any abuse of authority.

In a statement to international news agency Agence France-Presse, Doillon said: “The just cause does not justify arbitrary denunciations, false accusations and lies.”

After Godrèche's accusations, other women decided to speak out.

Isild Le Besco, 41, accused Jacquot of “mental and physical violence” in a relationship with him that began when she was 16 and he was 52. She also accused Doillon of choosing someone else for a role she was supposed to get because she rejected his sexual advances.

Another actress, Anna Mouglalis, 45, accused Doillon of sexual assault in 2011.

The French film industry was previously rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against actor Gérard Depardieu.

In 2020, there were protests from women's rights activists during the Cesar Awards ceremony when director Roman Polanski won the Best Director award in absentia. Actress Adèle Haenel, who denounced alleged sexual assault by another French director at the age of 15 in the early 2000s, stood up and left the room.

Polanski remains wanted in the US decades after being charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977.