career, relationship, allegations… what you need to know about the actress

After ten years in the United States, Judith Godrèche returned to France. Explosive return with “Icon of French cinematography”, an auto-fiction series in which he especially returns to his relationship under the influence of director Benoît Jacquot. After a series of testimonies and complaints, she later became the spokesperson for the #MeToo movement in France.

The movement has been (re)launched. By suing Benoît Jacquot for the rape of a minor, accusing Jacques Doillon of sexual assault (also against a minor), Judith Godrèche reopened the debate and relaunched the #MeToo movement in France, where the first wave with the Weinstein affair in 2017 was quite a failure.

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The actresses did speak out: French Léa Seydoux, Emma de Caunes and Eva Green testified against the American producer. Judith Godrèche, then exiled in Los Angeles, herself accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, becoming one of the figures of the movement for women's freedom in the United States. But in France, it was necessary to wait for the testimony of Adèle Haenel against Christophe Ruggie for “touching” and “sexual harassment” of a minor, in 2019, for the debate to partially open… before quickly closing.

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With her testimonies and complaints, Judith Godrèche – an icon of auteur cinema in the 1990s who lived her relationship with director Benoît Jacquot under the influence in the eyes of everyone – forced French cinema to look at itself, to “see the truth in front of it”, as she declared at the César 2024, referring to the cinema as “a cover for the illegal trafficking of young girls”.

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Judith Godrèche on stage at the Olympia for the 2024 César Awards, in February 2024.

Judith Godrèche on stage at the Olympia for the 2024 César Awards, in February 2024.

Michel Euler/AP/SIPA / © Michel Euler/AP/SIPA

At what age did Judith Godrèche start her acting career?

Judith Godrèche took her first steps on stage when she was only 8 years old: she was Émilie Jolie in her school play. Enough to get a taste of the game. At the age of 12, she shyly made her debut in front of the cameras in the movie “Next Summer” (1985), by Nadine Trintignant. But playing the main roles in the films of Benoît Jacquot, “Les mendiants” (1987) and “La disenchantée” (1990), and acting in “La fille de 15 ans” (1989), Jacques Doillon, that she is a teenager – who left school at the age of 15 – became the actress of the moment.

Judith Godrèche in

Judith Godrèche in the film “La disenchantée” (1990), Benoît Jacquot

SIPA / © INTERFOTO USA/SIPA

An icon of auteur cinema, Judith Godrèche stood out in numerous dramatic films – such as “Une nouvelle vie” (1993), Olivier Assayas, “Grande petite” (1994), Sophie Fillières, or even “Ridicule” (1996), Patrice Leconte. Only in the 2000s did she start acting in more popular films, in comedies (admittedly, sometimes dramatic). We can mention “The Spanish Inn” (2002), Cédric Klapisch, “France Boutique” (2002), Tonie Marshall, “Papa” (2005), Maurice Barthélémy, or even “Potiche” (2010), François Ozon .

Judith Godrèche in the play

Judith Godrèche in the play “I want to make cinema”, with Michel Blanc, 1992.

© ASLAN/SIPA

In 2010, Judith Godrèche tried her hand at directing for the first time, with “All the girls cry”. ” It took me a while to accept myself as a director. I was convinced that I had no legitimacy,” she confided. She » before the release of the film. “I started very young as an actress, with great directors. I had the role of the muse, the child's wife, it was very rewarding. Being an actress is very relaxing, almost regressive. And then, as I was pushed into the world of adults very early, I had to maintain that childish position. I refrained from thinking about directing for a long time. »

Why did Judith Godrèche leave France for the United States?

Judith Godrèche's film did not quite meet the expected success. And, at the same time, her acting career began to stagnate, or even stop. In the early 2010s, she (almost) disappeared from the big screens. Avoided by French cinema, she decided to go into exile in the United States. The start of an international career? Not really, except for a few appearances in foreign films (“Stoker”, 2013“Winter”, 2015, “Rise”, 2019).

Judith Godrèche at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010

Judith Godrèche at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010

KENNELL KRISTA/SIPA / © KENNELL KRISTA/SIPA

“I voluntarily exposed myself to danger by going to the United States,” she confided. Madame Figaro » 2023. “I didn't really know who I was anymore, I had a complicated relationship with my image. I was famous as a young person and immediately defined by my roles or the men I lived with. My place did not suit me so much that the desire for this job disappeared. I wanted something else and was afraid that the establishment would ossify me. I went to regain control over my story, to get to know myself and to question my desires. »

Contacted by HBO, Judith Godrèche began writing an (almost) autobiographical series about a French actress exiled in Los Angeles. If the project with the American channel did not happen, it inspired another very personal story: that of a French actress, the muse of auteur film, who went to the United States and returned to France after a few years. And it was with the series “Icon of French Cinema”, broadcast on Arte at the end of 2023, that Judith Godrèche returned to France after ten years of exile.

Judith Godrèche in

Judith Godrèche in “Icon of French Cinema” (2023)

© “Icon of French cinematography” / Arte

What awards did she get?

Judith Godrèche has never been awarded, neither at César nor at other awards. However, she was nominated several times. In 1991, she was in the running for the César for Most Promising Actress for her role in “La disenchantée” (1990), by Benoît Jacquot, which was eventually won by Judith Henry for “La discrete” (1990), by Christian Vincent. She was also nominated twice in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2003 for “L'auberge bleue” and in 2004 for “France Boutique”. Without success.

Who was Judith Godrèche in a relationship with?

Judith Godrèche started a relationship with a director 25 years her senior when she was only 14 years old, while making her debut in the cinema in front of Benoît Jacquot's cameras. Emancipated from her parents, she moved in with him, in Paris, before they bought an apartment together. Despite the age difference and the fact that the actress is not of legal age, their relationship was known to the public. A relationship that Judith Godrèche later described as “under the influence”. They separated in 1992.

In 1996, Judith Godrèche married Philippe Michel for the first time. The marriage did not last long because two years later she married Dany Boon whom she met on the set of the movie “Bimboland” (1998). Together in 1999, they had a son, Noé, who became a musician – he wrote the soundtrack for his mother's “Icon of French Film” series.

Judith Godrèche with Dany Boon in Paris, March 2001

Judith Godrèche with Dany Boon in Paris, March 2001

Khayat Nicolas/ABACA / © Khayat Nicolas/ABACA

After her second divorce in 2002, Judith Godrèche was in a relationship with Maurice Barthélemy from 2004 to 2012. with whom she had a daughter, Tess, in 2005. Tess Barthélémy is an actress, like her mother – whose role she plays in her series.

Judith Godrèche with Maurice Barthélemy in Paris, March 2005

Judith Godrèche with Maurice Barthélemy in Paris, March 2005

Gorassini Giancarlo/ABACA / © Gorassini Giancarlo/ABACA

What does Judith Godrèche accuse Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon of?

In the autofiction “Icon of French Cinema” Judith Godrèche describes, among other things, the influence and abuse of the directors she worked for when she was a teenager. If she refused to give names at first, she revealed a (public) secret: “Saying your name today does not change anything. When I was young, you had to say your name,” she continued France Inter in December 2023 Before adding: “And Benoît Jacquot… There, I said his name, Benoît Jacquot is filming right now. The system approves, does not change. »

To change the system, Judith Godrèche decided to file a complaint against Benoît Jacquot for the rape of a minor in February 2024.. In the complaint, the actress mentions another director, Jacques Doillon. According to ” World “, who consulted the testimony, described to the investigators the rape that allegedly took place in the director's home while she was testing for “15-year-old girl” (1989): “He puts his fingers in my panties and makes me lie on the bed, and with his jeans, still in jeans, starts to rub against me to cum. »

A preliminary investigation focused on Benoît Jacquot – who assured ” Telerama » that it was about a “consensual love relationship”, and who denied “any physical and psychological violence” – he was open. It was also extended to the charges against Jacques Doillon. Note that two other actresses denounced Jacques Doillon's actions for “Le Monde”: Anna Mouglalis and Isild le Besco. “False accusations” and “lies”, the director reacted to AFP, who decided to file a libel suit against Judith Godrèche.

Why did she decide to speak up now?

In her series, Judith Godrèche decided to depict the influence that Benoît Jacquot had on her when she was just a teenager, when her daughter Tess turned 15, which is how she was at the beginning of their relationship. “Watching her grow up made me realize what being 15 means emotionally.” How vulnerable we are,” she confided. Figaro » in February 2024.

However, Judith Godrèche already criticized her relationship with Benoît Jacquot in her novel “Point de side”, published in 1995. “She is a girl who lived very young with a man and who stayed with him for quite a long time. .him”, she described on the set of the show “Le Cercle de midnight”, broadcast on France 2, in 1995. And added: “She did not have adolescence and was very quickly projected into a world where love was the only reason for existence. »

Judith Godrèche with son Noé Boon and daughter Tess Barthélemy at the 49th American Film Festival in Deauville, September 2023.

Judith Godrèche with son Noé Boon and daughter Tess Barthélemy at the 49th American Film Festival in Deauville, September 2023.

Jacques BENAROCH/SIPA / © Jacques BENAROCH/SIPA

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