France's Brigitte Macron to sue over claims she was born a man

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The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte, is launching legal proceedings over the spread of false claims that she is a transgender woman who was born a man.

Conspiracy theorists, including those in anti-vaccine and far-right circles, have attacked Macron on social media after a far-right publication published the baseless rumours in the autumn.

The unfounded rumours say she was born a male under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux.

Trogneux is Brigitte Macron's maiden name.

The claims emerged as her husband gears up for elections next year, although President Macron has not yet officially declared he is running, and have raised concerns of a nasty campaign period similar to those in recent US votes.

The hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux has trended on Twitter in France in recent weeks.

Her lawyer Jean Ennochi said Wednesday that legal proceedings against several individuals have been initiated after the false claims gained new momentum following the circulation of a video on social media on 10 December.

Ennochi did not name those being pursued nor specify whether the complaint was being filed before a civil or criminal court.

Brigitte Macron's office has declined to comment.

The French president first met his wife when he was 15 and she was a 40-year-old school teacher.

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