Deneuve said she signed the original text because she found it "vigorous," though not perfect

By Peter Mikelbank
January 15, 2018 10:07 AM

A week after signing an open letter which characterized the #MeToo movement as a “witch hunt,” Catherine Deneuve has issued an explanation — and apology, but only to “victims who may have been shocked.”

In an interview and open letter appearing on the front page of the French newspaper Liberation, Deneuve, 74, said she signed the original text because she found it “vigorous,” though not perfect.

She issued an apology “to all the victims of these hideous acts who might have felt assaulted by the letter published in Le Monde.”

The actress went on to explain her reasoning behind signing the controversial letter, asserting that there was nothing” that stated, “anything good about harassment, otherwise I wouldn’t have signed it.”

Restating opposition to “the pack” mentality she feels the initial open letter addressed, she cited several examples of high profile celebrities who have been accused of sexual misconduct saying she disagrees with the way the allegations have been handled in the media. Deneuve said it was unfair to presume guilt without formal court proceedings.

“It’s media lynching,” she wrote.

Simon Bocanegra And Philippe Morillon : Exhibition At la Galerie Du passage Pierre Passebon
Credit: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty

The Le Monde letter has caused considerable uproar in France in the past week as other signatories have attempted to explain or redefine its apparent acceptance of certain degrees of traditional male behavior. None, however, has inflamed sensitivities more as when one signatory — a former porn actress turned radio personality — stated in a televised debate during the week that it was “possible for women to enjoy rape.”

Deneuve described those comments as “spitting in the face of all those who have suffered this crime.”

And while Deneuve apologized to her opposers, she also warned against those who supported her for the wrong reasons. Calling out the “conservative, racists and traditionalists,” she said she “is not fooled. They haven’t my gratitude nor my friendship.”

Deneuve concluded the letter with an apology to sexual assault victims.

“It is to them and them alone that I offer my apologies,” she wrote.