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Emmanuelle Béart: French actress says she was victim of incest

Emmanuelle Béart
Emmanuelle Béart pictured at the Filming Italy festival earlier this summer

French actress Emmanuelle Béart was a victim of incest as a child, she has revealed in a new documentary.

Béart, who won a coveted César film award for 1986's Manon des Sources, does not name her alleged abuser in the documentary, titled Such a Resounding Silence, which she also co-directed.

Béart said she had initially not wanted to talk about herself, only about other survivors of incest who are featured.

"But their honesty and their courage made me want to speak out too."

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, co-director Anastasia Mikova told reporters the alleged attacker was not Béart's father, according to the Agence France Presse news agency.

Speaking for the actress, who was not present, Mikova said Béart would not name her abuser because that was not "the approach of the film".

The documentary was screened at the press event and Béart's voice was heard off-screen, addressing her alleged abuser: "Since my father, my mother and my friends didn't notice anything, you could do this again, and you did, over four years."

She was "saved" by her grandmother, Béart said.

Such a Resounding Silence will be broadcast on France's M6 channel on 24 September.

The French star, 60, has appeared in dozens of movies since she shot to fame as an avenging daughter opposite Yves Montand in Manon des Sources.

Along with her César win, she's also been nominated for France's top movie awards seven more times for films including Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud and A Strange Passion.

Béart is probably best known to international audiences for her portrayal of IMF agent Claire Phelps in 1996 Hollywood hit Mission: Impossible, opposite Tom Cruise.

She also starred in Vinyan (2008) alongside Rufus Sewell, about parents bereaved by the 2004 Asian tsunami.