Home » After Adèle Haenel’s accusations, a trial looms for Christophe Ruggia – Libération

After Adèle Haenel’s accusations, a trial looms for Christophe Ruggia – Libération

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After Adèle Haenel’s accusations, a trial looms for Christophe Ruggia – Libération

Sexual violence file The Paris prosecutor’s office requested the referral to criminal court of director Christophe Ruggia on Thursday February 8 for sexual assault on a minor on actress Adèle Haenel in the early 2000s.

The case that catalyzed #MeToo in French cinema should have its trial. Opened in 2019 following accusations of touching and sexual harassment against director Christophe Ruggia and after the filing of a complaint by actress Adèle Haenel, the investigation could finally be successful. Thursday February 8, the Paris prosecutor’s office requested a trial and sent the 59-year-old director to criminal custody. The final decision on whether or not to hold a trial now rests with the investigating judge.

Near Mediapart, Adèle Haenel reacted: “Reading 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’s a step in the legal process but obviously it’s important.”

The lawyers of the two protagonists, Fanny Colin and Orly Rezlan for the director, Yann Le Bras and Anouck Michelin for the actress, did not wish to comment.

According to sources close to the case, two aggravating circumstances were retained by the public prosecutor: the minority of Adèle Haenel at the time of the alleged acts (from the age of 12), and the position of authority of Christophe Ruggia, who is the first director who made him appear in the film “Les Diables” (2002).

“Inappropriate attitude” and testimonies

“It results from the detailed, constant, precise and dated declarations of Adèle Haenel […] and elements collected at the end of the investigation that Christophe Ruggia imposed on him for sexual assault, notwithstanding his denials,” wrote the prosecution in its requisitions dated Tuesday, February 6.

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In support of Adèle Haenel’s statements, the prosecution cites letters from the person concerned, five “confidants”, two visual witnesses of the “inappropriate attitude” of Christophe Ruggia, as well as the testimony of the complainant’s mother. .

Then aged 36 to 39, he received her every Saturday afternoon between September 2001 and February 2004. The requisitions mention a “systematic nature” of the touching during these “visits”. “He started caressing 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,” the person told investigators. The prosecution also highlights “episodes of emotional blackmail during festivals in Marrakech and Yokohama”.

In a long investigation and interview with Mediapart, the actress denounced at the end of 2019 the “control” of the director, little known to the general public, during the preparation and filming of the film “The Devils”. Adèle Haenel’s shock interview then caused an earthquake in French cinema, which until then had remained relatively impervious to the #MeToo movement.

After the accusations, Christophe Ruggia described himself as “undoubtedly the first admirer of Adèle Haenel” and refuted “the physical gestures and the behavior of sexual harassment of which she accuses him”. He admitted having “made the mistake of playing the pygmalion […]. The director’s influence towards the actress he had directed and with whom he dreamed of filming again,” he wrote.

Initially refusing to take legal action, Adèle Haenel, awarded two Césars in 2014 and 2015, finally filed a complaint a few days after the opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office on November 6, 2019. Christophe Ruggia had was indicted on January 16, 2020 for “sexual assault on a minor under 15 years old by a person having authority over the victim”, and placed under judicial supervision, then in police custody in 2020. In October 2021, he obtained the annulment of his arrest and his custody. The investigating chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal annulled these two points of procedure, finding that the arrest by the police “was not strictly necessary”.

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This announcement of a possible trial comes after actress and director Judith Godrèche publicly denounced on Tuesday February 6 sexual abuse between 1986 and 1992 on the part of directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon, who contest the accusations. An investigation has since been opened. Contacted by Mediapart, Adèle Haenel said in particular that she was “upset” by the actress’s story.

In recent months, other cinema figures, such as Gérard Depardieu or Nicolas Bedos, have been implicated in this French #MeToo. Adèle Haenel has several times denounced “the general complacency of the profession towards sexual attackers”, including during a resounding outing against Roman Polanski during the 2020 César ceremony. The one who performed at the theater at the end of 2023 had noted her break with cinema in May in a letter to Télérama.

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