French actresss Judith Godrèche has filed an official police complaint against director Benoît Jacquot for “rapes with violence of a minor less than 15-years-old”, according to an investigative report by Le Monde on Wednesday.
The complaint comes just weeks after Godrèche publicly condemned the relationship she had with director Benoît Jacquot in the late 1980s, which she says began when she was only 14 years old and he was 40.
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Godrèche, who is now 51, lived with Jacquot for six years and appeared in his films The Beggars and The Disenchanted, before leaving him in her early 20s. Deadline has contacted Jacquot’s representative for comment on the complaint.
According to Le Monde, Godrèche attended an interview with the Brigade for the Protection of Minors, a police service dealing with juvenile justice matters, in Paris on February 6, where she gave an account of her relationship with Jacquot, having previously consulted her lawyer Laure Heinich on the matter.
Heinich has since confirmed the report of the official complaint in a statement to news agency AFP.
“It’s a story like the stories of children who are kidnapped,” Godrèche wrote in a text summarizing her accusation published in Le Monde.
“I would have liked Benoît to accept being my friend, rather than taking me. I didn’t want his body. Very quickly, he disgusted me,” it continued.
Jacquot, who is now 77, has denied abusing Godrèche, saying they were in a “loving” relationship and not one of control. If convicted, he risks twenty years of criminal imprisonment.
Deadline has contacted Jacquot’s French representatives for comment.
Godrèche went on to build a successful career as an actress at home and recently returned to France after a stint living in L.A., and has since made her TV directorial debut with the A24-backed drama series Icons Of French Cinema inspired by her life.
She first began publicly revisiting her experiences with Jacquot, without naming him directly, during the press campaign for the show and then mentioned him directly in social media posts on January 6.
“The little girl in me can no longer stay quiet,” she wrote in an Instagram Story which has since disappeared. “He is called Benoît Jacquot… He still manipulates those who might associate their names with mine. Bear witness. He threatens to take me to court for defamation.”
The actress said she had felt compelled to name the director after being sent an extract from the 2011 documentary Les Ruses du Désir : L’interdit by Gérard Miller in which Jacquot discussed their former relationship.
“It’s definitely a transgression, at least in the eyes of the law… a girl like her, this Judith who was 15 years old, while I was 40, I don’t think I had the right. But so what? I didn’t care and, for her, I would say it excited her a lot,” he said in the interview.
Speaking on evening chat show Quotidien two days after her social media posts, Godrèche said that she had been under the influence of Jacquot and that his account of their relationship in the documentary had made her sick.
“Seeing myself transformed into an object and being talked about like a thing, rather than speaking for myself. I vomited. I was in a state of panic,” she said.
“There was no consent. Consent does not exist at 14. You’re not excited at 14 about sleeping with a 40-year-old guy,” she continued.
Godrèche said her own daughter Tess Barthélemy’s adolescence had brought home the problematic nature of her relationship with Jacquot as a teenager.
“If a 40-year-old man approached my daughter, I would kill him,” she said in an interview with Elle magazine in December.
“Because I now have an adolescent daughter, I’ve realized what happened to me… I was navigating a world without rules or laws alone.”
Deadline has contacted Judith Godrèche’s representatives for comment on the case.
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