French actress Judith Godrèche accuses director Benoît Jacquot of historical rape

French actress Judith Godrèche accuses director Benoît Jacquot of historical rape
Judith Godrèche attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival - "The Climb" Premiere at The Ray on January 26, 2020 in Park City, UtahGetty Images

French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation after actress Judith Godrèche filed a complaint against film director Benoît Jacquot accusing him of historical rape.

Ms Godrèche, 51, accuses Mr Jacquot, 77, of raping her when she was 14 in 1986 and of subsequent offenses in a relationship lasting into the 1990s.

The complaint was lodged on Tuesday, her lawyer told AFP news agency.

Mr Jacquot has said he “firmly” denies her “allegations and accusations”.

In the early part of her career, Ms Godrèche was known for her roles in two films made by the director, The Beggars (1987) and The Disenchanted (1990).

She had recently evoked her relationship with Benoît Jacquot, without referring to him by name, in an autobiographical TV show called Icon of French Cinema.

Last month she named him on social media, saying she had decided to do so after viewing a documentary from 2011 in which the director had talked about his relationship with an adolescent.

Interviewed by Le Monde newspaper, Mr Jacquot said he “firmly denies the allegations and accusations of Judith Godrèche”.

Contacted by AFP on Wednesday, he let it be known that he stood by his words in the newspaper and did not wish to react any further.

Ms Godrèche’s complaint was lodged with the Juvenile Protection Brigade in Paris, her lawyer Laure Heinich told AFP.

Judith Godrèche has made numerous films of which The Overnight (2015), The Spanish Apartment (2002) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) are some of the best known.

Benoît Jacquot has been directing films since the mid-1970s with his 2012 drama Farewell, My Queen opening the 62nd annual Berlin International Film Festival.

Benoît Jacquot

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By David Ryckman