- French actress Adèle Haenel came forward to reveal that the director of her first movie, Christophe Ruggia, inappropriately touched and sexually harassed her from the time she was 12 to 15 when he was in his late 30s
- She and the journalist who broke the story gave an hour long interview on why she finally named her abuser, how the abuse had impacted her, her hopes on how speaking out could help society and the research that journalists do into investigating abuse (sorry but it's in French only. Lengthy summary under the cut)
- The documentary Leaving Neverland triggered memories of her earlier abuse on the set of her first movie
- She looked Ruggia up and learned his next movie was about young teenagers and one of the characters was named after her and the other named after her co-star in the movie she did with Ruggia. She was disturbed and wanted to make sure he never worked with kids
- It took her a year to decide to come forward after that
- She felt she could come forward because she is highly respected (she is a 2x César winner), is financially stable and is more well-known than her abuser and thus more likely to be believed. Even so she felt like coming forward could ruin her career but was still prepared to take the risk
- She wanted to go through the media rather than the justice system because she is well aware that the justice system is extremely unfair towards sexual abuse victims and that only 1 in 10 rape cases in France end in conviction
- After three years of nearly weekly abuse where he kept pressuring her to touch and kiss him she fell into a depression and decided to quit acting even though she had been performing since she was a child
- Only accidentally returned to acting after the casting director who cast her in Ruggia's movie met her at a party and cast her in Céline Sciamma's debut film, Water Lilies
- As a teenager she downplayed what happened to her because she wanted to protect her parents and she also felt guilt towards Ruggia because at the time she wasn't sure he knew what he was doing. As an adult she realized that he very purposefully groomed her and isolated her parents and other people on the movie
- Says that she was in pain for many years but many people helped her to heal including Céline Sciamma. She speaks very lovingly of Sciamma and says their relationship was respectful, loving and the opposite of the pressure and fear she felt with Ruggia
- The journalist who broke the story, Marine Turnchi, met Adèle at a party around the time she had decided to come forward
- Turchi contacted 36 people, 23 of whom went on the record to comfirm they felt Ruggia acted inappropriately towards Adèle or that Adèle had told them later what Ruggia had done to her
- Turchi said many people felt guilty for not having spoken up earlier and it was a case that haunted many of them
- Adèle also provided letters Ruggia had written her claiming he loved her
- One of the people who came forward to support Haenel's story was Ruggia's former partner, director Mona Achache who said that he confessed to her at the time that he "fell in love" with Adèle during promo for the film
According to Achache, Ruggia also admitted to her that he had put his hand under Adèle's shirt while they were watching a film and that she looked afraid when he did it causing him to pull away. Achache was disturbed by his conduct and lack of remorse and dumped him. She considered going to the police but was unsure of what to report or whether she would be making things worse for Adèle.
- According to Ruggia's own sister, who worked on the film, he's known for at least 10 years that people thought he was acting inappropriately towards Adèle
- Talks about Polanski and says she doesn't understand how people think that he's not a rapist
- She wants the culture as a whole to move forward and support victims of pedophiles
- Her own father told her not to come forward and she reads a letter she wrote him explaining why she had to
- In the letter she said that continuing to keep silent was incredibly painful
- Said she couldn't forgive Ruggia because he had never asked for her forgiveness
- Also explained how Ruggia groomed her and how she fell into a deep depression and isolated herself once her involvement in the film was done
- She tried to tell many people about what Ruggia had done and they shut her down saying he was so nice and she must be mistaken
- The letter did change her father's mind and he did end up going on the record
- The French director's society also wrote a statement of support towards applauding Adèle for coming forward and announcing they were removing Ruggia from the society
(rough translation by yours truely, don't come @ me native Francophones, je me suis debrouillé!)
Your courage is a gift without equal to women and men, to young actresses and actors, to everyone who has been damaged who now know thanks to you that they don't have to suffer this violence. And for those who have suffered, who can speak, that they'll be listened to and understood.
You are breaking a heavy silence.
Your testimony is unbelievably powerful.
It is profoundly resounding.
Dear Adèle, you make history.
The history of this liberating revolution. Our history and that of our children.
I am infinitely grateful to you.
I feel so sorry for her. The evidence is pretty damning and irrefutable at this point. I hope he rots and that coming forward brings her some peace.