France detains two filmmakers over sexual abuse allegations

French authorities Monday detained leading arthouse film directors Benoit Jacquot and Jacques Doillon for questioning over accusations of sexual abuse, as a renewed #MeToo reckoning rocks France’s film industry.

Their interrogation over the alleged abuse, some dating back to the 1980s and all of which they deny, comes as activists say cinema has too long provided cover for abuse.

An AFP journalist saw Jacquot, 77, and Doillon, 80, arrive at a Paris police station on Monday morning accompanied by their lawyers.

Earlier this year, 52-year-old actress and director Judith Godreche made formal complaints against Jacquot and Doillon, both of whom deny any rape or sexual assault during her childhood.

She has stated that from 1986 to 1992, while she was in a relationship with Jacquot starting when she was 14, he had an unhealthy “hold” on her.

She also claims that when she was fifteen, Doillon touched her inappropriately during an unscheduled sex scene in one of his movies. In addition, a number of other performers have complained about both guys.

Isild Le Besco, 41, has accused Jacquot of sexually assaulting her from 1998 to 2007 in the course of their poisonous relationship, which began when she was 16 and he was 52.

According to a person familiar with the issue, 34-year-old performer Julia Roy, who has acted in multiple of his movies, has accused him of sexual assault under “a context of violence and moral constraint which lasted several years”.

Le Besco has also claimed that Doillon made approaches during meetings, and performer Anna Mouglalis has said that in 2011, the director gave her a violent kiss.

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