Maïwenn, Director of Johnny Depp’s ‘Jeanne du Barry,’ Sued for Assaulting Journalist

The editor-in-chief of Mediapart alleges the Cannes-opening filmmaker assaulted him in Paris while he was dining.
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Maïwenn, the French actress and director who won the Cannes Jury Prize for her 2011 drama “Polisse” before rehabbing Johnny Depp’s career by casting him in “Jeanne du Barry,” is being sued for assault in France. The filmmaker (whose legal name is Maïwenn Le Besco but who works under the abbreviated name Maïwenn) is the subject of a new lawsuit filed by Edwy Plenel, the editor-in-chief of Mediapart magazine.

Plenel filed a police report on March 7, claiming that Maïwenn assaulted him in late February while he dined at a Paris restaurant. The journalist alleges that Maïwenn approached his table without prompting, then pulled his hair and spat in his face before storming off. The report claims that Plenel is still “traumatized by the incident.” News of the police complaint was first reported by the French news outlet AFP (via Variety).

IndieWire has reached out to Maïwenn’s representatives for comment.

The news comes as Maïwenn prepares to return to the Croisette next month with “Jeanne du Barry.” Her new period piece, which stars Depp as French king Louis XV, is set to open the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. In addition to directing the film, Maïwenn also stars as the king’s eponymous lover, Jeanne du Barry. The project was one of the first major acting opportunities that Depp received following the fallout from his acrimonious defamation trial against Amber Heard. But the shoot was apparently a difficult experience for all involved.

As noted by The Daily Beast last year, Depp’s co-star Bernard Montiel said on the French talk show “Don’t Touch My TV Set!” that the actor frequently clashed with Maïwenn on set.

“I’ve heard some noise from the shoot, very serious stuff,” Montiel said. “So, [Depp is] an excellent actor, when he comes on set, except sometimes at six in the morning the crew is ready, and nobody turns up. So of course, Maïwenn, who is the director, gets angry, and the next day she’s the one who doesn’t turn up. And you’ve got Johnny Depp, and she’s not there… It’s finished, over this week, [but] it’s going very, very badly. They don’t get on at all; they’re screaming at each other the whole time.”

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