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Maiwenn, Director of Johnny Depp’s Cannes Opener ‘Jeanne du Barry,’ Accused of Assaulting Journalist

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Maïwenn, the French actress and director whose latest feature, Jeanne du Barrystarring Johnny Depp, will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is being sued by a French journalist for assault.

Edwy Plenel, the editor-in-chief of Mediapart, an online investigative newspaper, filed a complaint with French police claiming Maïwenn assaulted him on Feb. 22 while he was having dinner at a restaurant in Paris’ fancy seventh arrondissement. The police report leaked to the French media on Friday, a day after Cannes announced Maïwenn’s film would open its 2023 edition next month.

The complaint, filed on March 7, accuses Maïwenn of aggression. Plenel alleges he was having dinner with a lawyer when Maïwenn, who had been sitting alone at another table, came over, grabbed him violently by the hair and spit in his face before rushing out. The AFP news agency, quoting from the complaint, said Plenel, while not physically harmed, was left “traumatized by the incident.”

The News84Media has reached out to Maïwenn’s team for comment.

Mediapart has not published any investigative reports or exposes of Maïwenn, but the site has reported extensively on sexual assault allegations against her ex-husband, French director Luc Besson. The two were married between 1992-1997 and they have a daughter, Shanna Besson. Mediapart was the first French outlet to publish allegations from Dutch actress Sand Van Roy accusing Besson of rape. The case, launched in the wake of the #MeToo movement, was later dropped.

Maïwenn, who has said publicly she did not embrace the #MeToo movement, cast Depp to play French king Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry when he was in the middle of his legal battle against ex-wife Amber Heard. Maïwenn stars in the film as Louis XV’s lover Jeanne du Barry, a poor commoner who became the Sun King’s last official mistress.



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