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Catherine Deneuve Pens Apology After Criticizing #MeToo Movement

Catherine Deneuve Pens Apology After Criticizing #MeToo Movement

Writing in French paper Liberation, founded by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, she said: "I greet, sincerely, all the victims of odious acts that may have felt aggrieved by the letter published in Le Monde. Saying on a TV channel that you can enjoy during a rape is worse than spitting in the face of all those who have suffered this crime", Deneuve wrote, apparently referring to one of the signatories, former pornographic actress Brigitte Lahaie who said earlier during a talk show that a woman can actually enjoy being raped.

Actress Catherine Deneuve apologised to victims of sexual assault who were offended by a column denouncing "puritanism" she signed following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but maintained her reservations about the #MeToo campaign.

The Le Monde letter, signed by writers, entertainers, historians, journalists, curators, academics and intellectuals, was published Tuesday under the headline, in French, "We defend freedom to importune, indispensable to sexual freedom". In her defense, she stated that the original letter in no way condoned harassment, "otherwise I wouldn't have signed it".

The Le Monde letter argued that daily revelations of alleged sexual misconduct by men in multiple industries amount to a "witch hunt" that threatens sexual freedom and promotes hatred of men.

Deneuve added that one of the reasons she signed that letter was what she described as "the danger of cleanings in the arts". "It is to them, and them alone, that I apologize", she wrote. A time where simple denunciations on social media generate punishment, resignation and sometimes, and often, lynching by the media... I don't decide the guilt of these men because I am not qualified to do so. She also defended her feminist credentials, noting that she publicly backed legalizing abortion in France. They will have neither my gratitude nor my friendship. "But persistent or clumsy flirtation isn't an offence, nor is gallantry a kind of macho aggression", the "collective of 100" wrote.

"Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss", the letter read.

Men had been dragged through the mud, they insisted, for "talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions".

It claimed that #MeToo had become a puritanical "witch-hunt" which threatened sexual freedom.

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