Veteran French actor Catherine Deneuve has apologised to the victims of sex abuse after she signed a letter denouncing the MeToo movement and claiming that it unfairly punishes men for flirting "insistently or clumsily".
The actor had denounced the #MeToo movement and its French equivalent, #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig), in a letter, signed by over 100 French actors. The letter said the movements have created a totalitarian climate by publicly prosecuting private experiences.
In a personal statement, published in newspaper Liberation, Deneuve apologised to victims of "odious acts" but stood by the statement while distancing herself from a number of other female signatories.
"I am a free woman and I will remain so. I greet fraternally all the victims of odious acts that may have felt aggrieved by this forum published in the World, it is to them and to them alone that I apologise," Deneuve wrote in the new letter.
Deneuve said she signed the statement because she is opposed to the "media lynching" of men who are accused of inappropriate behaviour.
"Yes, I like freedom. I do not like this characteristic of our time where everyone feels the right to judge, to arbitrate, to condemn. A time when simple denunciations on social networks generate punishment, resignation, and sometimes and often media lynching.
"An actor can be digitally erased from a movie, the director of a large New York institution may have to resign for hands to the buttocks put there thirty years without any other form of trial. I do not excuse anything. I do not decide on the guilt of these men because I am not qualified for. And few are," she said.