×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Catherine Deneuve Apologizes to Sexual Assault Victims, Explains Public Letter

Less than a week after signing a public letter blaming the #MeToo anti-harassment movement for spurring puritanism and unfair punishment of men, French star Catherine Deneuve has written a long statement addressing the backlash provoked by the letter and apologized to victims of “odious acts.”

In her personal statement, published in national newspaper Liberation on Monday, Deneuve sought to bring some nuance to the public letter which was signed by 100 women and appeared in Le Monde last Tuesday. That letter contended that the #MeToo movement had led to a puritan crackdown on sexual behavior and that men had a right to offend and bother women.

“I have been an actress since I was 17 years old. I could obviously say that I’ve often been a witness of situations that were more than indelicate, or some that I know from other actresses about filmmakers who cravenly abused their power,” Deneuve wrote in her new statement.

“What creates situations that are traumatizing and unbearable is always the power, the subordination or some sort of overpowering. The trap occurs when it becomes impossible to say no without risking one’s job, or being subjected to humiliations and degrading sarcasm,” the statement said.

Deneuve said she believed the solution would come from educating “our boys as well as our girls.” She also said the solution would arise “eventually from protocols in companies allowing for legal pursuits to be immediately launched in case of harassement. I believe in justice.”

Deneuve, however, insisted on the pertinence of one aspect of last week’s public letter, which criticized the #MeToo anti-harassment movement for leading to a campaign of public denunciation and summary justice fueled by the media.

“I don’t like this aspect of our times where each feels the right to judge, arbitrate, condemn – a society where simple denunciations on social networks lead to punishment, job losses and often lynching in the media.”

Deneuve also said she did not endorse some of the women who signed the public letter and who went on to make shocking declarations in TV interviews. Referring to actress Brigitte Lahaie, who said last week in a TV interview that a woman could have an orgasm during a rape, Deneuve said that “saying on a TV channel that one can have an orgasm during a rape is worse than spitting on the face of all those women who have been victim of this crime.”

Deneuve added: “Nothing in the letter pretends that harassment has some good, otherwise I would not have signed it.”

The actress also addressed criticism over the fact that she wasn’t a feminist champion. “May I remind [people] that I was one of the 343 sluts with Marguerite Duras and Françoise Sagan who signed the manifesto ‘I had an abortion’ written by Simone de Beauvoir?”

Through that manifesto, Deneuve admitted to having had an abortion when abortions were illegal in France in 1971.

“I am a free woman and I’ll always be. I salute fraternally all the victims of odious acts who may have been offended by this public letter published in Le Monde. It is to them and them only that I present my apologies,” said Deneuve in the conclusion to her statement Monday.

More Film

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content