Two women who falsely claimed that French first lady Brigitte Macron was born a man were punished with reduced “symbolic fines” on appeal, it emerged today.
In turn, both claimed to have been subjected to “intimidation by the authorities” when “ultra-protected” members of the Paris establishment tried to cover up a “state secret.”
Details of the bizarre case centered on President Emmanuel Macron’s 70-year-old wife revived on Friday after her own daughter spoke publicly about the allegations for the first time.
Tiphaine Auzière, 40, told the latest issue of Paris Match: “I am concerned at the level of society when I hear what is circulating on social media about my mother being a man.”
Auzière also spoke of how hurt she was after discovering, when she was 10, that her mother, a teacher, was dating teenager Emmanuel Macron.
Two women who falsely claimed that French first lady Brigitte Macron was born a man were punished with reduced “symbolic fines” on appeal, it emerged today
The future politician was only 15 years old when he began a relationship with Brigitte Auzière, then married and mother of three, who was then 40 years old and taught theater at La Providence secondary school in Amiens, northern France.
As the French debated the unconventional personal life of their head of state, MailOnline obtained details of a ruling handed down at the Caen Court of Appeal last June.
It refers to two defendants: Amandine Roy, a 52-year-old clairvoyant, and Natacha Rey, 48, who calls herself an independent journalist.
The two appeared in a four-hour YouTube video in December 2021 in which they claimed that Brigitte was born as a baby named Jean-Michel Trogneux in 1953.
In fact, this is the name of Brigitte’s brother, and Macron was called Brigitte Trogneux before his first marriage.
The defendants also claimed that Brigitte’s first husband, André-Louis Auzière, had never existed before his death in 2020, at the age of 68.
A judge in Lisieux, Normandy, initially fined the two women the equivalent of £1,700 each after finding them guilty of defamation.
But following appeals, Roy was fined just £850, and Rey had £1,300 suspended from his £1,700 fine, meaning he had to pay just £400.
Among the witnesses called to appear in court were Catherine and Jean-Louis Auzière, a childless couple living in Deauville, Normandy.
Jean-Louis Auzière was Brigitte Macron’s uncle, when Brigitte was married to André-Louis Auzière.
Natacha Ray claimed that Jean-Louis Auzière had falsified administrative documents to hide a “state secret”: his wife had given birth to Brigitte’s three children, including Tiphaine Auzière.
Details of the bizarre case centered on President Emmanuel Macron’s 70-year-old wife were revived on Friday after Brigitte’s own daughter spoke publicly about the allegations for the first time.
But Jean-Louis Auzière told the court: “I worked with Brigitte until the late 1980s, I can confirm to you that she is not a man.”
The original complaint against Ray and Roy was for invasion of privacy, violation of image rights and violation of personality rights, but the final case was for defamation.
Frédéric Pichon, Rey’s defense lawyer, said his investigation into Macron had been “carried out in good faith” and in accordance with Article 10 of the European Court of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.
He expressed outrage that his client was “taken into police custody twice during the case”, and said: “I am appalled by the disproportionate means used by the authorities to silence her.”
Pichon added: “This looks like intimidation coming from ultra-protected people.” If the theses he develops are so crazy, why pursue it like this?
“My client is not very rich, at least much less so than those who are angry with her.”
All parties to the case accepted the “symbolic fines” imposed on appeal as a final settlement to what had become a huge embarrassment for Mr and Mrs Macron.
Transphobic rumors about Ms Macron were taken up by the far right in 2022, while the president was campaigning for re-election.
Groups such as the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) and those protesting against Covid vaccines used these claims to attack Macron.
The video produced by Rey and Roy has since been removed from YouTube.
The Elysée Palace has not yet reacted to comments from Tiphaine Auzière, who is promoting her new novel, a legal drama titled ‘Assizes’, in reference to a criminal court.
This was despite lurid headlines across France, such as one in Gala, which read: “Transphobic rumor about Brigitte Macron: why her daughter Tiphaine is worried.”
Emmanuel Macron’s stepdaughter Tiphaine Auzière, 40, said in the latest issue of Paris Match: “I am worried about the level of society when I hear what is circulating on social media about my mother being a man.”
“I learned a lot about human nature,” Auzière said in the interview published Thursday, in which she also spoke about her mother’s relationship with Macron, which resulted in her parents’ divorce.
“I know that right now we need to focus on what is essential and move forward regardless of criticism,” he said of transphobic rumors.
‘The attacks, the slander, the trials. It was not yet the era of social media, but we were in a small provincial town. Everything is known.
‘Despite all this, they stood firm. I gained an open mind, the desire to move forward without listening to peripheral noises and I gained greater tolerance.’
Auzière said she was particularly upset that her humiliated father, André-Louis Auzière, was forced to leave the family home in 1994, even though he did not divorce Brigitte until 2006, allowing Macron to marry her a year later. .
“A family separation can be a shame and an opportunity,” said Ms. Auzière. ‘The recomposition can be an enrichment.
“I have a very dear father and stepfather,” he added.