French actor Emmanuelle Béart was a victim of incest as a child, she said in a documentary presented on Tuesday, without identifying her abuser.
Béart, who has starred in dozens of films and TV productions over the past 50 years, is the co-director of the documentary which was screened at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday. It will be broadcast on France’s M6 channel on 24 September.
The 60-year-old actor has been famous in France for decades thanks to performances in Manon of the Spring, A Heart in Winter and Nelly and Mr Arnaud, and reached global audiences with roles in Mission: Impossible and 8 Women. Béart won a César film award for 1986’s Manon of the Spring, and has been nominated for France’s highest film honour seven more times.
The attacker was not her father, the famed singer Guy Béart, the documentary’s co-director Anastasia Mikova told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.
Speaking for the actor, who was not present, Mikova said Béart would not name her abuser because that is not “the approach of the film”. The incest started when Béart was 10 and continued until she was 14, she said.
The documentary, titled Such a Resounding Silence, includes the stories of four incest victims, as well as Béart’s own contribution.
In a video message shown at the news conference, Béart said she had initially not wanted to talk about herself, only about other incest victims. “But their honesty and their courage made me want to speak out, too,” she said.
In the documentary, her voice is heard off-screen, addressing her abuser: “Since my father, my mother and my friends didn’t notice anything, you could do this again, and you did, over four years.”
She was “saved” by her grandmother, Béart said.
Some 160,000 children become victims of sexual assault every year in France, and 5.5 million French adults suffered sexual abuse during their childhood, according to Ciivise, a government created commission for the protection of sexual abuse victims.
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