The Paris prosecutor’s office has requested a trial against director Christophe Ruggia for “aggravated sexual assault on a 15-year-old minor”, actress Adèle Haenel, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned from sources close to the case, Thursday 8 February, confirming information from RMC.
“We do not wish to make any comment,” reacted Fanny Colin and Orly Rezlan, the director’s lawyers, contacted by AFP, on the subject of this legal development concerning these accusations which had caused an earthquake in 2019 in French cinema, which remained until now impervious to the #metoo movement.
According to sources close to the case, two aggravating circumstances are retained by the prosecution: the minority of Adèle Haenel at the time of the alleged facts, from the age of 12, and the position of authority of Mr. Ruggia, who is the first director who made it film, in the film “Les Diables” (2002). Then aged 36 to 39, he received her every Saturday afternoon at his home for almost three years, from September 2001 to February 2004.
“After being upset by the story of Judith Godrèche” , who filed a complaint on Tuesday and obtained the opening of a preliminary investigation targeting the directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon, “I learned today of the indictment of the prosecutor requesting the dismissal of Christophe Ruggia” before the court, declared for her part the 34-year-old actress, to Mediapart .
“ To read in this indictment that the facts are sufficiently characterized, corroborated by testimonies and that my statements are constant, precise and crude touches me a lot. It is a step in the legal process but, obviously, it is important,” added Ms. Haenel. The actress’s lawyers, Yann Le Bras and Anouck Michelin, did not comment on the prosecution’s requisition.
Explosion in French cinema
In an investigation published in early November 2019 by Mediapart , the actress denounced the “control” that Christophe Ruggia allegedly exercised over her during the preparation and filming of the film, then “permanent sexual harassment” , repeated “touching” and “forced kisses on the neck” , which allegedly took place at his home and during several international festivals, when she was between 12 and 15 years old.
Initially refusing to take legal action, Adèle Haenel finally filed a complaint a few days after the opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office on November 6, 2019, refusing to “step aside” .
Christophe Ruggia was indicted on January 16, 2020 for “sexual assault on a minor aged 15 by a person having authority over the victim” , and placed under judicial supervision.