AceShowbiz - Marion Cotillard has voiced her support for a French actress who shocked the country by claiming a top director sexually harassed her as a child.
Adele Haenel, 30, starred in Christophe Ruggia's 2002 film "The Devils" when she was just 12 years old, playing Chloe, an autistic youngster living with her brother in a children's home, and claims the director began sexually molesting her while working on the movie.
Offering her support to Adele, the Oscar-winner posted a picture of her on Instagram and wrote in French: "Adele. Your courage is a gift of unparalleled generosity for women and men, for young actresses and actors, for all the damaged people who know now thanks to you that they do not have to undergo this violence. And for those who have suffered it, that they can speak, they will be listened to and heard."
Expressing her hope Adele's story would prompt change in the French film industry, she added: "You break a silence so heavy. Your testimony is of unheard-of power. It resonates deeply. Dear Adele, You make history. The story of this liberating revolution. Our story and that of our children. I have infinite gratitude to you."
The former French child star told her story to French outlet Mediapart, saying she had been inspired to speak out by the documentary "Leaving Neverland", in which two men detailed extensive child sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. She alleges Christophe tried to kiss and touch her while making and promoting the movie, but declined to bring the case to court as she says she does not trust France's justice system.
The 54-year-old filmmaker has admitted behaving inappropriately but has denied sexual harassment or assault.
"I did not see that my adulation for her, and the hopes I placed in her, might - given her young age - come across at times as irksome. If this is what happened... I ask her pardon," he said in a statement.