Home » Adèle Haenel: sexual assault, emotional blackmail… what the prosecution requires in the case between the actress and Christophe Ruggia

Adèle Haenel: sexual assault, emotional blackmail… what the prosecution requires in the case between the actress and Christophe Ruggia

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Adèle Haenel: sexual assault, emotional blackmail… what the prosecution requires in the case between the actress and Christophe Ruggia

the essentials The Paris prosecutor’s office requested on Thursday February 8 a trial against the director Christophe Ruggia, whom he suspects of having sexually assaulted the actress Adèle Haenel, then a minor, between 2001 and 2004.

After four years of investigations, the prosecution requested a trial against the director Christophe Ruggia, whom it suspects of having sexually assaulted the actress Adèle Haenel, then a minor, between 2001 and 2004, by imposing “emotional blackmail” and ” isolation”.

Before investigators, as during confrontations with Adèle Haenel, Christophe Ruggia, now 59 years old, denied it. His lawyers declined to comment.

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But for the floor, no doubt. “It results from the detailed, constant, precise and dated declarations of Adèle Haenel (…) and the elements collected at the end of the investigation that Christophe Ruggia imposed sexual assault on her, notwithstanding his denials”, he wrote in his requisitions dated Tuesday which AFP was aware of. The final decision whether or not to proceed with a trial rests with the investigating judge.

“A kid”

In the eyes of the public prosecutor, several elements corroborate the version of Adèle Haenel, 34 years old today, who has become a figure in the MeToo movement: letters, the words of five “confidants”, her mother, as well as two visual witnesses of Christophe Ruggia’s “inappropriate attitude”.

Christophe Ruggia’s sister was also heard. If she was not “shocked” at the time of filming “Diables” (2002) – Adèle Haenel’s first film, with Christophe Ruggia – she says, in 2020, she remembers a conversation with her brother “he five or six years ago.

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Years after the fact, “I don’t know if he told me that he fell in love with her, but in any case, something of that order.” She then replies: “(she was) a 12-year-old kid, even if you fall in love, you stop yourself.” He, in tears, replied “I know well”, she relates.

“This love hurt him so much”

Between September 2001 and February 2004, Adèle Haenel went to Christophe Ruggia’s house every Saturday afternoon. There, she was “systematically” subjected to “touching of a sexual nature on her penis and on her chest”, accuses the prosecution. “He began to caress my thighs going up towards my penis, like that, seemingly nothing. He then also touched my penis, he kissed me on the neck (…) and he touched my chest”, said told Adèle Haenel during the investigation.

“He told me that this love hurt him so much (…) that I owed him this relationship,” she also says. Christophe Ruggia indulged in “episodes of emotional blackmail during festivals in Marrakech and Yokohama”, adds the public prosecutor. To characterize the absence of consent, the prosecution notes the very young age of Adèle Haenel, her “total lack of knowledge of sexuality”, her “stunnedness” and her “physical attitude of refusal” at the time of the facts.

“First Admirer”

He also retains the aggravating circumstance of the “authority” of the accused, conferred by his “professional status” in the face of a child new to cinema, subject to “a progressive psychological constraint linked to the intensity of the difficult filming conditions “.

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The director is thus accused of having isolated Adèle Haenel from the film team, then from her family, of having mentioned to her “a debt” to “the one who initiated her career”. “The facts will only stop at the initiative of Adèle Haenel,” notes the prosecution.

In 2004, she wrote to him that she no longer wanted to see him. Two letters from the director followed, in 2006 and 2007.

MeToo

Revealed in November 2019 by Mediapart, this affair catalyzed the #MeToo movement in French cinema, shedding new light on the figure of the pygmalion. Christophe Ruggia himself recognized, in a long response to Mediapart, the “director’s influence over the actress”, asking Adèle Haenel to “forgive” him. However, he denied any sexual assault or harassment.

According to him, the visits on Saturday constituted a time for discussions on “the life and dreams” of Adèle Haenel, on films to see. “First admirer of Adèle Haenel”, he said he “made the mistake of playing the pygmalion”. “I had not seen that my adulation and the hopes that I placed in her could have appeared to her, given her young age, as painful at certain moments,” he assured.

Since this affair, Adèle Haenel has several times denounced “the general complacency of the profession towards sexual attackers”, including during a resounding outing against the director Roman Polanski during the 2020 César ceremony. Now a theater actress, in May she announced her break with cinema in a letter to Télérama.

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