Woman behind France’s #MeToo taken to court by man she accused
The French woman behind the MeToo-style movement “Expose Your Pig” is being taken to court by the man she accused of being a swine.
Sandra Muller was responsible for the creation of #BalanceTonPorc in October, as the first revelations about misconduct from famous figures such as Harvey Weinstein were published.
“You have big breasts. You’re my type of woman. I will make you orgasm all night,” Muller recounted Eric Brion, the former head of the television channel Equidia, telling her at a party.
The post from Muller, who lives in the United States, sparked out outpouring of French speakers sharing their own accounts of harassment and assault as others shared stories under the hashtag #MeToo.
Brion has admitted he made “inappropriate comments” but said in a piece for Le Monde late last month that he thinks there may be “disproportionate consequences” and wants to “claim the right to truth and nuance.”
He added that he believes in the “freedom of speech” behind the movement, but Muller said Wednesday night that he had also moved to the legal system.
Muller said on Facebook she had received a summons for a case in which Brion is seeking 50,000 euros ($61,000) and 10,000 euros in attorney fees.
Women hold placards as they gather for a rally at the Old Port of Marseille to denounce harassment and the sexual violence in everyday life.
(FRANCK PENNANT/AFP/Getty Images)
“I will go to the end of this fight with the help of my lawyer, and I hope that this process will be an opportunity to hold a real debate on the ways to fight against sexual harassment,” the writer said in a statement.
As dozens of women and men come forward with accusations of how they were assaulted, harassed or abused in the U.S., French society has also been changing as a result of the light spread on sexual misconduct.
Last year the country’s gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa proposed fines for street harassment and catcalling.
However, it has also had more prominent displays of those questioning the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc, with more than 100 public figures putting out an open letter to Le Monde where they said that the “freedom to bother” for men was essential to sexual liberation.
Catherine Deneuve, the actress whose name grabbed the most headlines for the letter, later apologized to victims of sexual assault in a separate letter and reiterated her opposition to harassment and assault after the original was met with criticism.