Lea Seydoux hits out at Macron’s ‘crazy’ remarks about Gerard Depardieu

Lea Seydoux hits out at Macron’s ‘crazy’ remarks about Gerard Depardieu

Lea Seydoux has called out French president Emmanuel Macron for saying that Gerard Depardieu “makes France proud”, amid sexual misconduct allegations against the veteran actor.

The Paris-born actor, 38, said it gave a “very bad image of our country” but praised younger generations for being “very active” in calling out such issues.

Last December, Macron sparked outrage after he claimed that Depardieu was the target of a “manhunt”, telling broadcaster France 5 that he was a “great admirer” of the actor and that he “makes France proud”.

“So strange. It was crazy,” Seydoux told The Sunday Times culture magazine of Macron’s comments. “Why say that? It was really something. It’s crazy he said that, the president. Crazy.”

Earlier this month, Macron clarified his comments and claimed that they had been “misinterpreted”, emphasising that he was not “complacent” around issues such as sexual harassment.

“I just want a respect for our principles, such as the presumption of innocence. These same principles which will allow justice to rule next October and that is a good thing,” he told French women’s magazine Elle.

Lea Seydoux criticised French president Emmanuel Macron’s comments in defence of Gerard Depardieu (Getty)
Lea Seydoux criticised French president Emmanuel Macron’s comments in defence of Gerard Depardieu (Getty)

Judges this month ordered Depardieu, 75, to stand trial in October over allegations of sexual assault brought by two women, who worked with him on film sets in 2014 and 2021.

The actor, regarded as one of the biggest French stars of the late 20th century, has been publicly accused of rape or assault by 20 women.

He denies any wrongdoing and says all of his relationships with women have been consensual.

Prosecutors confirmed that Depardieu would appear in court in October over the 2021 assault allegations.

“He will be judged in October 2024 for sexual assaults allegedly committed in September 2021 against two victims, during the filming of the movie Les volets verts (The Green Shutters),” prosecutors said.

Macron’s latest remarks came after a group of French actors, including Oscar winner Juliette Binoche, signed an open letter accusing their country of being “enormously backward” in dealing with sexual misconduct.

The letter marked the start of the Cannes Film Festival, and saw Binoche and 100 other actors and cultural figures claim that, despite years of campaigning to expose predatory behaviour by men, “the agressors are protected by collective denial”.

Elsewhere in her interview, Seydoux criticised attitudes towards ageing in America, declaring that she feels fortunate to be part of the film industry in Europe.

Lea Seydoux at Cannes Film Festival 2024 (2024 Invision)
Lea Seydoux at Cannes Film Festival 2024 (2024 Invision)

The Blue is the Warmest Colour star said she views Hollywood as more of a “business” where the public are “infantalised`” by everything from “the adverts you see in the streets to the writing they put on their cereal packets”.

“Maybe because it’s a young country?” she continued. “So people want to stay young forever? It’s a society that is infantilising and you cannot get older in America.

“It’s almost like a disease there, getting older. It’s the same for men.”

The star, who played Dr Madeleine in 2015’s James Bond film Spectre and again in 2021’s No Time to Die, also suggested it would be “weird” to make a Bond film today with “a guy who is super-misogynistic.”

“It has to reflect the society we’re living in,” she added.

She most recently starred in sci-fi epic Dune: Part Two, opposite Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Florence Pugh.

Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk. If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673)