- Judith Godrèche claims that the director prepared her and that she was “in his clutches”
French prosecutors opened a rape investigation after French actress Judith Godrèche filed a complaint against director Benoît Jacquot, accusing him of raping her in a relationship that began when she was 14 and he was 39.
On Tuesday, Godrèche, 51, filed a formal complaint for alleged rape of a minor by a person in a position of authority.
The Paris prosecutor’s office announced the next day that a preliminary investigation into the allegations had been opened.
The French police’s specialized unit, the Youth Protection Brigade (BPM), will investigate multiple allegations, including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and rape of a minor by a person in a position of authority.
A potential criminal could face up to 20 years in prison for the crimes charged against Jacquot.
French prosecutors have launched an investigation after actress Judith Godrèche, 51, filed a complaint against film director Benoît Jacquot.
She has accused Jacquot of raping her during a relationship that began when she was 14 and he was 39.
However, as the incidents are said to have occurred between 1986 and 1992, the statute of limitations may have expired.
Jacquot, one of France’s most prominent directors, denied the allegations when questioned by Le Monde.
He told the publication that he was previously “very much in love” with the actress, adding: “It was me, ironically, who was under her spell for six years.”
Their relationship began in the spring of 1986, when Godrèche was 14, and ended in the early 1990s.
The actress said that Jaquot had groomed her and that she was the one who was “in his clutches” for six years.
Godrèche starred in two of the director’s films, ‘Les Mendiants’ (‘The Beggars’) in 1988 and ‘La Desenchantee’ (‘The Disenchanted’) in 1990.
The announcement comes as French cinema reels from claims that the art world has ignored sexism and sexual abuse for decades.
The actress claims that she was groomed by the now 77-year-old man and was under the director’s control for six years (pictured, left and right: Godrèche, 19).
Jacquot denied the accusations and told Le Monde that he was under its “spell” for six years.
In January, Godrèche took to social media and accused Jacquot of manipulating her into a relationship as a vulnerable underage actor.
In a statement quoted by Le Monde, Godrèche said: “It is a story similar to the stories of children who are kidnapped and grow up without seeing the world, and who do not think badly of their captor.”
She decided to speak out after discovering him in a 2011 television documentary, boasting that their relationship was a “transgression” and that cinema gave her “cover.”
Jacquot, a director with more than 50 films and television movies to his name, has said he needs to be “in love” with his actresses to film them.
He has worked with established stars such as Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert, as well as with Godrèche, Virginie Ledoyen and Isild Le Besco when they were teenagers.
In 2015, she described her job as “pushing an actress across a threshold.”
“The best way to do all that is to be in the same bed,” he said.