French actress Adele Haenel has taken her claims against filmmaker Christophe Ruggia, who she says sexually harassed her as a minor, to Paris police.
According to AFP, Haenel’s lawyers confirmed she went to a police station in the French capital’s suburb today (Tuesday November 26) to file a formal complaint.
The move is a reversal of her initial decision not to pursue legal action – she initially said “justice ignores” victims in her situation.
The news first broke on November 4 when Paris-based investigative journal Mediapart published an extensive report in which Haenel said Ruggia began harassing her after she was cast in his 2002 drama The Devils when she was 12, and continued until she was 15.
Ruggia responded to the report saying he “categorically refutes” any misconduct. He has since asked the actress to forgive him, issuing a second statement saying, “I did not see that my adulation and the hopes that I had for her could have appeared, given her young age, as painful at certain times. If that is the case and if she can, I ask her to forgive me.”
Soon after the accusation, the Paris prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation into “sexual aggression of a minor by a person of authority.”
After Haenel’s claims came to light, Ruggia was expelled from the French directors’ guild SRF and the news sparked a wider #MeToo debate in the French film biz about its response to sexual misconduct.
Days after Hanael initially came forward, Roman Polanski was accused of rape by French photographer Valentine Monnier, who said the filmmaker raped her during a ski trip in 1975. The accusation, denied by Polanski, fuelled protests against the director and the release of his latest film, An Officer And A Spy, with a group shutting down one of the film’s first screenings in Paris.
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