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Why Maïwenn, director of the new Johnny Depp, attacked a journalist before Cannes

Why Maïwenn, director of the new Johnny Depp, attacked a journalist before Cannes

Jeanne-du-Barry inaugurated yesterday the cannes film festival, and it did so immersed in a controversy that aims to extend over time. On the one hand, there is the fact of coming starring Johnny Deppin his first role for the cinema after the mediatic trial that he held for defamation against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Thierry Fremauxdirector of the festival, has already insisted that he does not care about Depp’s image in the US, that he is only interested as an actor, while it has been the director of the film who has ended up being the most controversial figure.

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In Jeanne-du-Barry Depp embodies the French king Louis XVwhile Maiwenn plays her lover. Maïwenn is also co-writer and director of the feature film, which she has been able to present at Cannes after a fruitful relationship with the festival: in 2011 she won the jury prize by Polisseand in 2015 My love awarded the Best Actress award to Emmanuel Bercot. From Maïwenn it is known that she had a complicated relationship with Depp in the setbut the most notorious was when, weeks before the festival began, he was denounced for assaulting a journalist. Edwy Pleneleditor-in-chief of the French magazine media part.

According to reports, Plenel was having dinner in a restaurant when Maïwenn appeared, pulled his hair, spat on him and left. Maïwenn has not denied it since then: “But it’s not time to talk about it. I will speak when the time is right. I am very anxious about the release of my film ”, she has told the media. Parallel to that Jeanne-du-Barry was seen in Cannes (and triggered a standing ovation for Depp), Variety has contacted Plenel, and the journalist has revealed the reasons for Maïwenn’s attack.

media part is the key publication to understand the MeToo (or the ways in which a MeToo has tried to materialize) in France. It has been, for example, the one that collected the accusations of rape against Gerard Depardieuand also the one that echoed the testimony of the actress Adele Haenel about how the director Christopher Ruggia he had abused her when she was 12 yearsrolling The Devils. Haenel, to be more specific, ended up retiring from the cinema when considering the industry “reactionary, racist and patriarchal”and a few days ago he published an open letter accusing the Cannes film festival of protecting rapists.

Maiwenn’s past

The point is that media part crossed Maïwenn’s path back in 2018, when reporting the accusations against the director Luc Beson for repeatedly raping the actress sand van roy for two years, as well as multiple other women. Besson’s case was dismissed in 2021 after an investigation, and before media part He had collected Maïwenn’s statements about the time they were together: she and Besson had married in 1992 when she was 16 years old. She had met him at 12 and they had started dating at 15.

It happened around the premiere of The professional (Leon)one of Besson’s greatest hits, where a contract killer played by jean reindeer He had a close relationship with a very young Natalie Portman. Maïwenn had said, in the DVD extras, that this relationship was inspired by the romance she had with Besson. They both divorced in 1997. “We published what Maïwenn told the police as part of the Besson investigation. When she spoke to the police, she spoke of complicated aspects of his relationship with Luc Besson, especially of the separation”, explains Plenel now.

“But once we published our article, we never received any kind of protest. That was about five years agowhich means that all this time Maiwenn has wanted get revenge. But if so, why didn’t she send an email? We didn’t even get a call from him,” Plenel explains with bewilderment. The attack occurred at the end of February, and the journalist decided to denounce the director on March 7. “I don’t know Maïwenn, I’ve never seen her. He would have been unable to recognize her. The aggression caused me above all stupor”.


But Plenel thinks he knows what it was really due to. “She did not attack me individually, but what i representas founder and director of a magazine that in France has been at the forefront of all the MeToo revelations.” Maïwenn has repeatedly shown her rejection of MeToo, which broke out in the US and spread to France. “She is openly antiMeToo and he wanted to make a gesture that would please his own; that’s why she bragged about it on television. We have been able to see a kind of pride that echoed that world ”, Plenel continues about when Maïwenn calmly confirmed that she had attacked him.

A media battle

“There are people in the industry who see our work in media part as censorship, as if we prevent them from doing things like oppressing, harassing and taking advantage of their positions. You are the first journalists to call me, which is interesting and says a lot about the French media status”, Plenel confides to those who arranged the interview to Variety, Elsa Keslassy and elizabeth wagmeister.

The journalist, on the other hand, does not fail to see that Cannes has decided to screen Jeanne-du-Barry as a declaration of intent. “Cannes chose a symbol completely crazy for the opening night: a film by Maïwenn about a courtesan seeking power. The mythology that the film develops, together with the casting of Johnny Depp, his anti-MeToo comments and now this aggression from which he seems to be proud And what makes people laugh on TV… that tells us something”.

Finally, he reveals that Frémaux has not even contacted him after the attack. “I did not receive a message from Mr. Thierry Fremaux telling me ‘look, it’s our choice, but rest assured that we are not sympathizing with Maïwenn’s actions’. She could have made a small comment out of courtesy.”

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