Stolen kisses, carnal scenes and naked castings... A director accused by several actresses

Several times nominated for a César, director Philippe Lioret is the subject of a long investigation by France Info, in which several actresses denounce inappropriate behavior.

Stolen kisses, carnal scenes and naked castings... A director accused by several actresses

Several times nominated for a César, director Philippe Lioret is the subject of a long investigation by France Info, in which several actresses denounce inappropriate behavior.

He is known and recognized for his critical successes such as “I'm fine, don't worry” in 2006 and “Welcome” in 2009. He is today at the heart of a controversy. An investigation conducted by Franceinfo reveals that ten actresses accused director Philippe Lioret of inappropriate behavior between 1990 and 2010, ranging from forced kisses to simulated erotic scenes, including requests to “show your breasts” during castings. Revelations which, once again, plunge the world of French cinema into a form of astonishment, in full awareness of the sexist and sexual violence suffered by actresses, in the wake of the movement

The testimonies published on the Franceinfo website this Tuesday paint a worrying picture of the casting methods of the director, accused of abusing his power to place actresses in embarrassing or humiliating situations. Hélène Seuzaret, Élodie Frenck, and Émilie Deville are among, in addition to anonymous testimonies, the actresses who shared their disturbing experiences with Lioret, evoking inappropriate work scenes and attempts at stolen kisses.

One of the most alarming stories comes from Élodie Frenck, known in particular to the general public for her interpretation of the character of Marlène Leroy in the series Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie on television. This one describes in particular a work session during which Lioret allegedly forced her to replay an intimate scene several times, increasing her discomfort with each take and leaving her feeling like a “little mouse at the bottom of the box,” in his words. . Hélène Seuzaret, seen in numerous TV films, but also in Les Infidèles in 2012 or Goliath more recently, recounts for her part an attempt at a non-consensual kiss at the end of a work session. “It’s like an abuse of power: he allows himself, because I’m waiting for this role, to steal a kiss,” she describes.

These accusations are not limited to inappropriate behavior but also extend to unjustified requests for nudity during castings. Several actresses, whose names have been changed or withheld, report that Lioret asked them to show their breasts under the pretext of artistic necessity. A practice confirmed by a casting assistant who indicates that the director made it “a crucial question”.

Faced with these accusations, Philippe Lioret, through his lawyer, denies any attempt at abuse and denies ever having intended to abuse anyone. He affirms that his personal involvement in castings aims to extract the best from actors and actresses, without malicious intent. The 68-year-old director had so far left his mark on French cinema with three nominations for the 2007 César for "I'm fine, don't worry" and ten others in 2010 for "Welcome". For the first, which recorded more than a million admissions in theaters, Kad Merad won the César for best supporting actor and Mélanie Laurent, that of best young female hopeful.

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