Catherine Deneuve has apologised after signing controversial letter criticising #MeToo campaign

Natasha Sporn
Catherine Deneuve has apologised to victims of sexual assault: AFP/Getty Images

Catherine Deneuve has apologised after she sparked outrage following her defence of men hitting on women.

The French actress was one of 100 women to sign an open letter published in Le Monde newspaper earlier this month criticising the #MeToo campaign.

The letter alleged that the movement stemmed from a “hatred of men” and that the “legitimate protest against sexual violence” now “threatened sexual freedoms”.

Writing in French paper Liberation, Deneuve said: “I greet, sincerely, all the victims of odious acts that may have felt aggrieved by the letter published in Le Monde.”

The 74-year-old added: “It is to them and to them alone that I apologise.”

Catherine Deneuve signed the controversial letter criticising the #MeToo campaign (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty)

The Belle De Jour star also said she disagreed with the way some of the signatories had “claimed the right to spread a distorted spirit” of the content.

The letter in question caused ructions after appearing to turn on the movement outing sexual harassment in the wake of claims made about Hollywood sex abuse.

It read: “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.

“What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite – we intimidate people into speaking 'correctly', shut down those who don't fall into line, and those women who refused to bend are regarded as complicit and traitors."