Catherine Deneuve Apologises To Assault Victims

The French actress Catherine Deneuve has apologised to victims of sexual assault after signing an open letter that argued the campaign against sexual harassment had gone too far.

She said she was sorry if she had offended victims of “hideous acts”.

Last week, she sparked a feminist backlash as one of 100 prominent women who signed a letter saying men should be “free to hit on” women.

Some activists said the intervention trivialised sexual violence.

The letter signed by French women writers, performers and academics, was published by Le Monde newspaper last Tuesday.

It said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations had spiralled out of control.

“I fraternally salute all the victims of these hideous acts who might have felt assaulted by the letter published in Le Monde. It is to them and them alone that I offer my apologies,” the actress said in a letter published on Sunday on the website of French daily Liberation.

Ms Deneuve also said that there was “nothing in the letter” to Le Monde that said “anything good about harassment, otherwise I wouldn’t have signed it”.

France’s celebrity pushback against ‘MeToo’

The signatories of the letter decried a new “puritanism” sparked by recent sexual harassment scandals, and deplored a wave of “denunciations”, following rape allegations made against US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Mr Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but has admitted that his behaviour has “caused a lot of pain”.

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