French directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon detained over sexual assault allegations


French filmmakers Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon have been taken into police custody for questioning over accusations of sexual abuse, French media have reported.

Actor Judith Godrèche, 52, formally accused Jacquot of rape and Doillon of sexual assault when she was a minor. Both men deny the accusations.

The two directors, 77, and 80, arrived at the Regional Directorate of the Judicial Police (DRPJ) in Paris alongside their lawyers on Monday morning (1 July), the AFP news agency has said.

Jacquot and Doillon’s lawyers have said it was unnecessary for their clients to be detained for questioning. Under French law, individuals can be held in police custody for up to 48 hours. Jacquot’s lawyer, Julia Minkowski, said her client would “finally be able to express himself before the law” while Doillon’s attorney, Marie Dose, said no legal criteria could justify his being detained for questioning “36 years” after the incident alleged by Godrèche.

Earlier this year, Godrèche filed a complaint against Jacquot claiming that he had raped her in 1986 when she was 14 years old. She said the director had an unhealthy “hold” over her from that age, which lasted from 1986 until 1992. Godrèche also accused Doillon of abuse on the set of one of his films she had acted in, which prompted a joint investigation in February.

Reacting to Jacquot and Doillon being taken into custody on Instagram, Godrèche shared a photo of herself as a teenager next to Jacquot, writing: “I’m crying… From all this… I don’t know if I have the strength but I will have it. I will have it… For her.”

After breaking her silence in February, Godrèche became the voice of France’s MeToo movement when she urged lawmakers to investigate sex crimes in the film industry.

The actor called for an independent inquiry into misconduct in the French film industry as well as the appointment of independent guardians for underage actors working on film sets. She also put forward proposals to address past abuses and prevent new ones.

Judith Godrèche attends Cannes Film Festival (Getty Images)
Judith Godrèche attends Cannes Film Festival (Getty Images)

In February, a week before her testimony to the French Senate commission, Godrèche gave an emotional speech at the Césars, the French equivalent of the Oscars.

She called on those present to “face the truth” about the issue, years after the MeToo movement shook up Hollywood but faced resistance in France.

“I am speaking as loud as I can and trying to push the door as open as possible, and yet nothing is really happening because of the way the system is being built for years and years,’’ she said

“I think there is something about French society that is somehow still anchored in the Middle Ages.”

Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673)