A Mediapart investigation published earlier this month revealing the acclaimed French actress Adèle Haenel’s accusations of inappropriate “touching” and of “sexual harassment” by film director Christophe Ruggia when she was a minor has rocked French cinema. Her account, which Ruggia has “categorically” denied, prompted the opening of a probe by public prosecutors, a wave of public support for her from professional organisations and figures in the French filmmaking industry, and pledges to introduce tighter regulations to crack down on sexual misconduct in the world of cinema and TV production. Haenel, now aged 30, also gave a lengthy live video interview to Mediapart, in which she spoke further about her alleged experiences and why she finally decided to speak out, presented here for the first time with English subtitles.
Didier Lombard, the former CEO of France Telecom (now Orange) and six other company executives are to stand trial on charges of engaging in or assisting psychological harassment of their staff, which allegedly led to the suicides of more than 30 employees in the space of two years.
The French-founded international medical aid organsiation MSF (Doctors Without Borders) said it was prompted by the growing scandal engulfing British NGO Oxfam to reveal that it investigated 24 allegations of sexual harassment or abuse last year and which resulted in the dismissal of 19 of its staff.
A report published this month by France’s national institute of demographic studies, INED, suggests that one woman in five in the country falls victim every year to incidents of sexual and sexist abuse in public spaces, ranging from assault to harassment, and the most vulnerable are women aged between 20 and 24 who live in the Paris region. Louise Fessard reports.
Official figures show the number of complaints lodged alleging sexual assault and harassment have jumped by almost a third year-on-year in France in the wake of widely reported allegations of sex crimes in the worlds of cinema, politics and the media, notably the accusations levelled at Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The 54-year-old kissed the young woman on the breast after she refused he embrace her, prompting calls for his prosecution amid a series of recent damning revelations of sexual assault and harassment by both TV personalities and politicians in France.