French Producer and National Film Board President Dominique Boutonnat Accused of Sexual Assault (Report)

Dominique Boutonnat
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

According to reports in the French press, the accusations relate to an incident involving Boutonnat's godson in August 2020.

Dominique Boutonnat, president of France's National Cinema Center (CNC), has been taken into police custody on suspicion of sexual assault and attempted rape, according to AFP.

The film exec was reportedly arrested following a complaint from his 22-year-old godson, who filed a complaint in October relating to an incident in August 2020.

According to the AFP report, Boutonnat disputed the accusations, while the prosecutor's office said it wasn't aware of any other complaints concerning him at this stage.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the CNC for comment.

Boutonnat was named president of the National Film Board in 2019, an appointment that provoked widespread protest from French producers and filmmakers who believed he was too close to French President Emmanuel Macron. The likes of Jacques Audiard, Emmanuelle Bercot, Michel Hazanavicius, Arnaud Desplechin and Bertrand Tavernier were among a list of names who signed a letter to Macron saying that they opposed Boutonnat's nomination.

Prior to this, as a film executive, Boutonnat was an associate producer on films such as Two Days in Paris, Polisse, and The Intouchables.

In response to his arrest, activist group 50/50 Collective put out a press release on Twitter calling for Boutonnat's CNC presidency to be withdrawn until his case is judged by the proper authorities.

The case is part of an ongoing wave of sexual harassment, rape and pedophilia charges being brought against major French public figures that began with the publication last month of the book La familia grande, in which the lawyer Camille Kouchner accused her father-in-law Olivier Duhamel, a well-known intellectual and television pundit, of raping her twin brother when he was 13-14 years old.

The book's publications sparked a number of allegations in a manner the French media has dubbed the country's own #MeToo moment.  The daughter of French actor-director Richard Berry accused him of incest and rape, claiming Berry abused her between the ages of 8-10.

La familia grande came after the publication last year of Vanessa Springora's Le Consentment, in which she recounts the allegedly abusive relationship she had with writer Gabriel Matzneff when she was 13 and he was 49.