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Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux, who has a long professional and personal history with Harvey Weinstein, on Thursday spoke out about reports about the film mogul’s history of sexual harassment and assault.
In a joint statement published on the film festival’s website and sent to The Hollywood Reporter, Fremaux and festival president Pierre Lescure wrote: “We have been dismayed to learn of the accusations of harassment and sexual violence recently leveled against Harvey Weinstein, a film professional whose activity and success are well known to all. They have led him to make frequent visits to Cannes over many years, with numerous films selected at the International Film Festival, at which he has been a familiar figure.”
They continued: “These actions point to a pattern of behavior that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation.”
The statement concluded: “Our thoughts go out to the victims, to those who have had the courage to testify and to all the others. May this case help us once again to denounce all such serious and unacceptable practices.”
Fremaux told THR that the festival would not be making any further statements on the issue, but their “position is clear.”
Fremaux’s statement follows the explosive article in The New Yorker, published Tuesday, detailing multiple allegations of rape. One of those allegations, from Italian actress and director Asia Argento, took place at the famed Hotel du Cap during the Cannes Film Festival.
In France, where the assault took place, rape is legally defined as “any act of penetration,” including oral sex, by force or coercion. However, the statute of limitations is 10 years, or 20 years if the victim was a minor at the time. The incident Argento recounted took place 20 years ago, in 1997, when Argento was 21.
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