Paris (AFP)

The new charge of rape against Roman Polanski, the first carried by a French, has revived the controversy around the director, still pursued by the US justice, but has benefited for more than 40 years of support in the world of cinema in France.

Adèle Haenel, one of the most popular actresses in France, who herself accused in recent days director Christophe Ruggia of "touching" and "sexual harassment" when she was a teenager, called to "support "Valentine Monnier, the new accuser of Polanski.

"I go out of her way to read her testimony, I believe it," says Adele Haenel, calling to "support her, take care of her story".

The actress had already ruled Monday in an interview with the online media Mediapart, that the situation of Roman Polanski, still pursued by the US justice in the framework of the procedure for minor diversion launched in 1977, was "unfortunately an emblematic case ".

A few days after his testimony, which shook the French cinema, Le Parisien published Friday that of Valentine Monnier, photographer and former model, who accuses Roman Polanski to have raped her in 1975 in Switzerland when she was eighteen .

Roman Polanski's lawyer has "strongly contested any charge of rape".

This French, whose accusations are added to those of other women in recent years, has not filed a complaint for these facts, prescribed. But she claims to have decided to publicly bear this accusation because of the release in France next Wednesday, the new film Polanski "J'accuse", Grand Prix jury at the Venice Film Festival, which relates to a famous miscarriage of justice, the Dreyfus affair.

- "celebrate predators" -

"Valentine Monnier, I believe you and I support you", tweeted the Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy, who even filed a complaint against Luc Besson for rape and also relayed a message of support from Karine Isambert, who had testified last year with Mediapart against Luc Besson for inappropriate behavior.

"Roman Polanski accused (...) Yet people continue to celebrate predators," reacted on his side Rosanna Arquette, accuser of the first hour Harvey Weinstein.

Several feminist activists also affirmed their support for Valentine Monnier, like Anaïs Leleux of the collective #NousToutes. "Thinking of Valentine Monnier and all those who have also been victims of powerful men," she tweeted, also saying on BFMTV that "the fact that he continues to receive awards raises questions every time to activists , but also to female victims ".

"The impunity of Polanski is great, and we will not be silent!" Said the association Dare feminism !.

"When the feminist activists denounced the homage to Polanski, Frédéric Bonnaud, director of the Cinémathèque treated us of + half-crazy +, Alain Terzian, president of the César, qualified the director of" indisputable +. "They are still in position" reacted Alice Coffin, from the feminist activist group La Barbe.

- Forwarded mails -

In 2017, feminists had indeed demonstrated in France against a retrospective devoted to Roman Polanski at the Cinémathèque, while the same year, he had to give up presiding over the Caesar under their pressure. But he had been supported by these institutions while, in the United States, the Academy of Oscars decided to exclude him.

These reactions come as the film industry, which until now has been quite silent about this new testimony, is regularly suspected of protecting Roman Polanski, who fled the United States to settle in France in 1978.

The star of French cinema Catherine Deneuve, who had shot with him in "Repulsion", has repeatedly supported the director, as it did again at the Mostra, where the selection of "J'accuse" in competition had indignant feminists.

While Valentine Monnier says she has told her story since 2017 in letters to the police in Los Angeles, to the wife of French President Brigitte Macron, to the Minister of Culture Franck Riester and to the Secretary of State for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa, the firm of Brigitte Macron confirmed Saturday to have received two letters from the photographer, forwarded to the government.

In a letter dated March 2018, Marlène Schiappa salutes the courage of Mrs. Monnier, while recalling that "the facts are prescribed for the French justice".

© 2019 AFP