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French MeToo: Director Benoit Jacquot Charged with Rape of Two Actors

In a high-profile MeToo case that has rocked the French film industry, prominent director Benoit Jacquot has been charged with raping two actors, Julia Roy and Isild Le Besco.

The charges were brought by a magistrate on Wednesday, following a flurry of allegations against several men in the French filmmaking community. Critics have long accused the industry of providing cover for abuse.

Jacquot, 77, and another filmmaker, 80-year-old Jacques Doillon, were detained for questioning on Monday over alleged sexual abuse of much younger actresses who starred in their films. Both have denied the charges.


Investigators opened a probe after actress Judith Godreche, 52, filed a complaint against Jacquot for allegedly raping her during a relationship that started in the 1980s, when she was 14 and he was 25 years older. While prosecutors did not pursue charges related to Godreche’s case due to the statute of limitations, they did charge Jacquot in the cases of Roy and Le Besco.

The charges against Jacquot include “marital rape” of Roy during a relationship in 2013, as well as “rape of a minor” against Le Besco between November 1998 and November 2000, when she would have been 15 years old.


Jacquot has been released from custody but remains under judicial supervision, preventing him from contacting plaintiffs and witnesses or engaging in any activities involving minors. His lawyer plans to appeal the decision, calling it a “real measure of judicial cancellation” before any judgment.


Meanwhile, the other director, Doillon, was released on Tuesday for medical reasons, despite mounting accusations against him from actresses Godreche, Le Besco, and Anna Mouglalis.

The charges against Jacquot represent a significant development in France’s MeToo movement, which has sought to hold the film industry accountable for long-standing issues of sexual abuse and misconduct.

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