Johnny Depp Comeback Director Hit With Court Order for Spitting on Journalist

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Johnny Depp and Maiwenn in Jeanne du Barry

Credit: Why Not Productions

Maiwenn, the French director and actress behind the Johnny Depp comeback film Jeanne du Barry (2023), is being court-ordered to pay damages to a French journalist whom she allegedly approached and spit in the face of in 2023.

Credit: Maiwenn in Jeanne du Barry
Credit: Why Not Productions

In January 2023, Maiwenn reportedly approached Médiapart magazine editor-in-chief Edwy Plene in a restaurant in Cannes prior to the premiere of her movie with Johnny Depp, grabbed the journalist by the hair, and spat in his face. Plene later filed an assault report with the police and said that he felt “traumatized by the incident.”

Since then, Maiwenn has not revealed her motivations for the incident; apparently, the two are not acquainted, and Edwy Plene has said he would not have recognized the director. She has not denied the incident since it happened but has not given any explanations.

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Johnny Depp and Maiwenn in Jeanne du Barry
Credit: Why Not Productions

In an interview with The Times, Maiwenn admitted to the spitting incident, saying, “This is true. But nobody knows why I did it. It’s not the right moment to talk about why I did it. I will maybe talk about it later. But I know why I did it.”

She would later speak to the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (per ScreenDaily) on the subject. It has often been speculated that the incident was motivated by Médiapart’s reporting on her former husband Luc Besson being accused of sexual harassment and assault; the charges have since been dropped.

Maiwenn said:

“I don’t blame Mediapart for their investigations into Luc Besson; I blame them for what they have done to me…It was a cataclysm… I felt morally violated,” Maïwenn added. “There’s no justification for attacking a journalist, but there’s no justification for violating a woman’s intimacy and trust.”

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According to Variety, Maiwenn was ordered to pay the journalist €400 (approximately $435) on the charges of “voluntary violence without interruption of work,” as well as a symbolic €1 to Plenel in moral prejudice and €1,500 ($1,632) in moral prejudice to Mediapart.

Johnny Depp as King Louis XV
Credit: Why Not Productions

Jeanne du Barry, Maiwenn’s most recent film, starred Johnny Depp as the French King Louis XV and the director as his longtime mistress. It was Depp’s first major film role following his notorious court case with his estranged former spouse Amber Heard and premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival to mostly positive reviews.

Did you see Johnny Depp’s latest movie? What do you think of this incident? Speak up in the comments below!

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