Filmmaker Benoît Jacquot indicted for rape

Filmmaker Benoît Jacquot indicted for rape
Filmmaker Benoît Jacquot indicted for rape

The judicial noose is tightening in a flagship investigation of the French #MeToo movement: filmmaker Benoît Jacquot was indicted on Wednesday for the rape of actresses Julia Roy in 2013 and Isild le Besco between 1998 and 2000, and placed under judicial supervision.

The septuagenarian is suspected of marital rape of Julia Roy in 2013 and of rape of a minor by a person in authority over Isild Le Besco, between November 1, 1998 and November 21, 2000, indicated the Paris prosecutor’s office, contacted by AFP.

The investigating judge did not, however, fully follow the prosecution’s requests and placed him under the more favourable status of assisted witness for marital rape of Julia Roy in 2007 and of Isild le Besco between 2014 and 2018.

Prohibited from activity with minors

His judicial supervision also requires him to “not come into contact with witnesses and victims” in the case, nor to “engage in any activity related to minors”, according to the prosecution.

The filmmaker also cannot “practice the profession of director”, nor even make “public appearances in connection with the activities which allowed the commission of the offences for which he is being indicted”, the public prosecutor continued.

“Cancellisation”

“More than a professional ban, this is a genuine measure of judicial cancellation, based on an embryonic investigation and before any judgment,” his lawyer Julia Minkowski told AFP, “we will obviously appeal.”

Questioned since Monday at the juvenile brigade of the Paris judicial police, Benoît Jacquot, 77, answered questions from investigators, according to a source close to the case, and denies the accusations against him.

Doillon released from custody

The filmmaker was taken into custody at the same time as another director, Jacques Doillon, 80, who is also accused of rape.

Jacques Doillon’s police custody was lifted Tuesday evening “for medical reasons” and without prosecution at this stage, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office, which specified that it was still considering “the modalities of the follow-up” concerning him. His lawyer, Marie Dosé, did not wish to comment.

Forty-two years younger

Actress Julia Roy, forty-two years younger than Benoît Jacquot and who starred in four of his films from 2016 to 2021, spoke of “a context of violence and moral constraint that lasted several years” in her complaint targeting him and denouncing rapes and sexual assaults, according to a source close to the case.

Actress Isild le Besco, now 41, has made six films with Benoît Jacquot, whom she met when she was 16 and accuses of sexual, psychological and physical violence.

“I believe that Benoît is not a man who knowingly wants to hurt people. I don’t see him strangling a woman for pleasure in full awareness, like other men do. Benoît is something else: he has this desire for absolute power, for control,” she said in an interview published Wednesday by Elle magazine.

“I feel heard”

“In both procedures, the complainants who reported facts which do not appear in the charge retained will be contacted personally,” the prosecution stressed in the afternoon.

The preliminary investigation was launched following a complaint filed by another actress, Judith Godrèche, against the two filmmakers.

Aged 52, the actress publicly accused Benoît Jacquot of rape in early February, then Jacques Doillon of sexual assault, triggering a new storm in French cinema, to the point of shaking up the César ceremony and the Cannes Film Festival.

“These complaints (from Isild Le Besco and Julia Roy, Editor’s note) are not time-barred. The period that I denounced is time-barred. But I feel heard through this decision,” reacted Judith Godrèche on Instagram after the announcement of the prosecution’s indictment requests.

A commission of inquiry into sexual violence in cinema, audiovisual, live performance, fashion and advertising began its work in May, but was brought to a halt following the dissolution of the National Assembly on June 9.


ats, afp

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