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Maiwenn Fined $435 for Spitting on French Journalist



The case involving director Maiwenn spitting in the face of prominent French journalist Edwy Plenel — a scandal that almost eclipsed the presence of Johnny Depp on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in May — is officially closed.

Maiwenn, whose latest film “Jeanne du Barry” starring Depp world premiered on opening night of Cannes last year, was ordered by a Paris court on Tuesday to pay a fine of €400 ($435) on the charges of “voluntary violence without interruption of work,” according to the news wire FranceInfo.

Plenel — who is editor-in-chief and founder of Mediapart, an independent French investigative online newspaper behind many bombshell reports including a recent one on Gerard Depardieu — filed a police complaint on March 7, accusing Maiwenn of aggression while he was eating in a restaurant.

Maiwenn, who was sitting by herself at a nearby table, allegedly grabbed Plenel by the hair and spit in his face, then left the restaurant. In the complaint, Plenel said he was “traumatized by the incident.”

The director was also ordered to pay a symbolic €1 to Plenel in moral prejudice and €1,500 euros ($1,632) in moral prejudice to Mediapart, according to FranceInfo.

Speaking to Variety on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival, Plenel said he believed Maiwenn spit on him because she was upset about an investigation that Mediapart published into rape and sexual assault allegations against director Luc Besson. Maiwenn was married to Besson in the 1990s and they share a daughter together.

While in court, Maiwenn didn’t deny that the had spit on Plenel’s face and said that while she “didn’t blame Mediapart for the investigations,” she blamed them for “what they did to [her].” She said she felt a “moral rape,” referring to the fact that Mediapart published her testimony about her tumultuous relationship with Besson while he was being investigated.

“I don’t apologize and I don’t regret … No gesture could have compensated what I experienced,” she said on the stand.


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