Back in November of last year, acclaimed actress Adèle Haenel spoke out about alleged sexual misconduct and assault that she endured from the ages of 12 and 14 from director Christophe Ruggia. At the time, she said she was inspired by the Michael Jackson abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” to share her story. Well, apparently the story struck enough of a chord to spark an investigation in France and resulted in an indictment against Ruggia.
According to Variety, Ruggia has been indicted for charges related to “sexual aggression against a minor by a person of authority and sexual harassment.” These charges came after the director was held for 48 hours by French authorities in relation to the investigation. Haenel alleges that during the production and release of the 2002 film, “The Devils,” Ruggia subjected her to “permanent sexual harassment”, including “touching [on the] thighs and torso”, and “forced kisses on the neck.”
Ruggia, as you might expect, denied the claims and said that he and Haenel have had a “professional and affectionate” relationship.
Initially, Haenel was averse to filing an official complaint with French authorities, due to her assumption that the legal system is not able to protect women from violence and sexual assault. However, she changed her mind and filed a complaint in late November. Now, just over a month later, the French authorities have officially taken action.
In addition to “The Devils,” Ruggia also directed the films “The Kid from Chaaba” and “In Turmoil.” Haenel has become one of the best actresses working today and in 2019 turned in an incredible performance in the film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”