“It’s a story about a kidnapped child”: actress Judith Godrèche files a complaint against director Benoît Jacquot

“It’s a story about a kidnapped child”: actress Judith Godrèche files a complaint against director Benoît Jacquot


This Saturday in January, Judith Godrèche is expected for dinner. She can’t get out of bed. Chilled with cold even though it was hot in her room, she rushed to the bathroom and, according to her account, vomited. The actress is in shock. She has just watched an extract from a documentary by psychoanalyst Gérard Miller which is circulating on social networks, in which a French director describes his cinematographic practice as “illicit trafficking of minors” , the jealousy of his peers when he consumes his young actresses and their “Blue Beard” syndrome.

This long interview takes away the last resistances of Judith Godrèche’s conscience, those which have been crumbling for decades to prevent the mental breakdown of sexual trauma, to protect the 14 year old child under her control. by Benoît Jacquot, 39 years old. Her psyche battles with the figure of this man almost three times her age at the time, who fell on her as a teenager. What was the meaning of this relationship? Was it love or predation? At 51, the veil is finally torn, a few weeks after the broadcast of a series she produced for Arte, Icon of French Cinema , in which she began to evoke her youth, without saying everything yet.

“It’s a story like the stories of children who are kidnapped and who grow up without seeing the world and who cannot think ill of their captor. I would have liked Benoît to agree to be my friend, to not have me, I didn’t want his body. Very quickly, he disgusted me,” she wrote in a preparatory text for her hearing, this Tuesday, February 6, before the minor protection brigade of the Paris judicial police. The actress requested an appointment there in order to file a complaint for “violent rape of a minor under 15 years old” committed by a person in authority – a crime punishable by twenty years in prison, even if, in her case, it is probably statute-barred.

Not a good victim

Met by Le Monde , Benoît Jacquot denies all of these accusations and insists on the “loving” nature of this long relationship, devoid according to him of brutality and predation. Heir to the New Wave, the director, 77 years old, is a major figure in French independent cinema, author of around thirty films. In 2013, his film Farewell to the Queen won three Césars.

The previous week, Judith Godrèche went to her lawyer, her shoulder sheared by the handle of her bag filled with dozens of books, photos, magazines and letters that she was bringing as evidence. She put everything on the desk: “Do you really think we don’t believe you? » , asked M e Laure Heinich. The question triggered a torrent of tears, so much so that the lawyer had to leave the room to regain her senses. “It’s the first time in my entire life that I cried for myself, for this abused child that I was.” she tells Le Monde .

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