French filmmaker Christophe Ruggia has been detained and questioned by police investigators over accusations made by actress Adele Haenel.
As reported in November, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire actress Haenel stated that The Devils director Ruggia sexually harassed her from the age of 12 after being cast in one of his films. She initially said she would not pursue legal action as she believed “justice ignores” victims in her situation, but reversed this decision and filed an official police complaint later that month.
Paris prosecutors opened an initial investigation last year, and this week they detained and questioned Ruggia on accusations of sexual assault and harassment of a minor by a person in authority, according to reports in AFP and French network LCI television.
Ruggia initially responded by denying any wrongdoing, but has since asked Haenel to forgive him for his conduct. He was expelled from French directors’ guild SRF in response to the allegation.
The case has sparked a fresh #MeToo debate in France. Haenel’s accusation came days before Roman Polanski was accused of rape by French photographer Valentine Monnier. More recently, prominent media figure Gabriel Matzneff was accused by publisher Vanessa Springora of grooming her for a sexual relationship when she was a minor.
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