Two Prominent French Filmmakers Arrested On Sexual Assault Charges

French directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon have been taken into police custody for questioning on accusations of sexual assault made against them by actress and director Judith Godrèche.

French media reported that both men were being questioned by the Paris branch of France’s Brigade for the Protection of Minors.

Godrèche unleashed a fresh MeToo wave in France this year after she decided to speak out about her own experiences of sexual abuse within the French cinema world as a teenager.

She filed official complaints against Jacquot and Doillon in February.

The actress and director was in a relationship with Jacquot in the late 1980s, which she says began when she was only 14 years old and he was 40.

Godrèche now condemns the relationship, saying she was under Jacquot’s control, and filed a complaint of “rape with constraint” against him in February.

At the same time, she also filed a complaint against Doillon, for “rape with violence”, related to his behavior on and off the set of the 1989 film The 15 Year Old Girl.

In the wake of Godrèche’s legal action against Jacquot, actress Julia Roy filed a complaint for sexual assault against the director, and actress Isild le Besco filed a complaint for rape of a minor over 15 years old, for events that took place between 1998 and 2007.

Under French law, people accused of a crime can be held in custody for up to 48 hours for questioning.

Jacquot and Doillon have denied the allegations and their respective lawyers Marie Dosé and Julia Minkowski denounced the custody measure on Monday.

In a statement, Jacquot’s lawyer Dosé lamented the fact that details of the investigation had been covered in the media saying the “presumption of innocence” of her client had been “flouted”.

On behalf of Doillon, Minkowski said that given “the age of the facts” the questioning should have taken place as “a free hearing” rather than under the regime of police custody.

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