French director Maïwenn has been fined $435 (€400) for assaulting a leading French journalist in the lead-up to the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, according to French media reports.
The charges relate to an incident last March when the actress-director came across Edwy Plenel, co-founder and editor-in-chief of investigative news website online Mediapart, in a Paris restaurant.
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Eyewitnesses said she approached Plenel while he was lunching with his lawyer, pulled back his head by his hair and then spat in his face. Restaurant staff identified her as the attacker.
The investigative journalist filed a police complaint against Maïwenn for assault shortly after.
News of the incident broke just days after Maïwenn’s film Jeanne du Barry, co-starring Johnny Depp, had been announced as the opening film at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
According to radio network FranceInfo, Maïwenn was ordered by a Paris court to pay the fine ($435) on the charges of “voluntary violence without interruption of work.
Maïwenn previously admitted to the assaulting Plenel on live TV days on chat show Quotidien just days before the Jeanne du Barry world premiere at Cannes.
She refused to explain her motivation at the time saying she wanted to focus on the imminent Cannes opening of her film.
She later explained in a piece in Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche that she had attacked Plenel for the way the website had betrayed her trust with regards to testimony she gave for its investigation into her former partner Luc Besson, and the father of her daughter.
According to Maïwenn, the website had promised to keep her informed of what it planned to do with her interview but then released it out of the blue.
“I don’t blame Mediapart for the investigations they carried out concerning Luc Besson. I blame them for what they did to me,” she explained, saying that she felt had been subjected to “a moral rape”.
The filmmaker was also ordered to pay to $1 in moral damages to Plenel and $1,632 (€1,500) moral damages for Mediapart.
The filmmaker was on trial at the Paris police court where the public prosecutor had requested a $761 (€700) fine.
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