Maiwenn, Director of Johnny Depp Cannes Film, Admits to Spitting on Journalist
Maiwenn Le Besco, the director of Johnny Depp’s Cannes opening night film “Jeanne du Barry,” has admitted that she spit in the face of an investigative journalist in February. The filmmaker confessed to the act just days ahead of the May 16 world premiere of “Jeanne du Barry.”
The actor-director, who goes by Maiwenn, was asked on the French TV talkshow “Quotidien” if she could confirm that she had assaulted Edwy Plenel, the founder of Mediapart, which had published a report that several women had accused her ex-husband, director Luc Besson, of rape. “Do I confirm that I assaulted him? Yes,” she answered the interviewer, according to The Telegraph.
More from Variety
John Travolta and Katherine Heigl to Star in Rom-Com 'That's Amore!'
First-Look Images for Cristian Ponce's Rain-Soaked Horror 'A Mother's Embrace': 'There is Mud... and Eventually Blood' (EXCLUSIVE)
Plenel filed a police complaint on March 7, which accused Maiwenn of aggression while he was eating in a restaurant. The director, who was sitting by herself at a nearby table, allegedly grabbed Plenel by the hair and spit in his face, then left the restaurant. Plenel was quoted in the complaint as saying he was “traumatized by the incident.”
“I’ll speak about it when I’m ready,” Maiwenn continued on the talkshow. “I’m very anxious about the release of my film.”
As for casting Depp, the filmmaker said: “Very quickly I said, he lost the first trial, he won the second. We could say it was one person’s word against another. I didn’t feel I had the right to judge.”
Maiwenn, who has been a critic of the #MeToo movement, cast Depp to play Louis XV in the opening night film while he was embroiled in the legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard. Maiwenn plays Jeanne du Barry, the king’s love interest, whom he brought to Versailles to live near him although she wasn’t born to the nobility. It co-stars Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Noemie Lvovsky, Pascal Greggory, India Hair and Melvil Poupaud.
After a series of bombshell stories about Besson, with whom Maiwenn shares a daughter, prosecutors dropped the investigation against him due to lack of evidence.
Best of Variety
Emmy Predictions: Guest Actress (Drama) -- Melanie Lynskey and Anna Torv From 'The Last of Us' Challenging 'Succession' Women
Tony Predictions: Best Musical -- Four Stand Poised to Give ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Some Competition
This 'Fast and Furious' Arcade Cabinet Allows You to Step Behind the Wheel as Dom Toretto
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.