Sacre bleu! Aux armes, cineastes!
Maïwenn, the French actor-director, is being sued by a magazine editor for allegedly assaulting him–in a Paris restaurant, no less. In March, Edwy Plenel, the editor of Mediapart magazine, complained to the gendarmes that on February 22, Maïwenn grabbed him by the hair and spat in his face while he was enjoying a meal. After the attack, she reportedly left the restaurant without saying a word (or presumably leaving a tip).
Maïwenn’s latest film, Jeanne du Barry, about Louis XV’s favorite courtier, is slated to open the Cannes Film Festival in May. Johnny Depp will be playing the role of the French monarch whose grandson and successor lost his head in the French Revolution, and Maïwenn herself will be playing Mme du Barry.
The incident left Plenel “traumatized” according to the official police report. Plenel’s lawyer, Pierre-Emmanuele Blard, reportedly told news media that “The act is unique but is no less violent, and in a certain way traumatic even in the absence of physical damage. Even for this kind of act, there can be no impunity.”
Plenel was quoted as saying that he “personally never had any trouble” with the director, though his magazine had earlier published articles about rape accusations against Luc Besson, Maïwenn’s ex-husband. Maïwenn had met Luc Besson when she was 15 and married him at 16; they had a child together. The couple ultimately separated amicably. Maïwenn has suggested that his 1994 film Léon: The Professional was inspired by their relationship.
Besides Maïwenn and Depp, other actors in Jeanne du Barry include Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Richard, Pascal Greggory and India Hair. Depp himself is no stranger to controversy, having recently been involved in a well-publicized defamation trial against Amber Heard, his ex-wife.
One unanswered question: did the attack take place in a five-scar restaurant?
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