French actress Catherine Deneuve signs open letter defending men's 'right' to seduce

Esequiel Farfan
Enero 13, 2018

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has waded into the Hollywood sexual assault scandal - backing Catherine Deneuve's view that men should be "free to hit on" women. He said: "It is natural women are happy that a man courts them".

Berlusconi said that "the important thing is that the courtship is elegant".

The billionaire media tycoon was eventually cleared in his sex trial in 2014 because the judge ruled it could not be proved he knew the age of the teenage nightclub dancer, Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer".

He is now on trial accused of buying off witnesses in that case.

Deneuve and 99 other French women on Tuesday denounced a backlash against men, saying the recent global campaign against sexual harassment amounted to "puritanism" and was fueled by a "hatred of men".

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The letter also attacked the wave of "puritanism" which had been unleashed by the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, suggesting it was fuelled by a "hatred of men".

France is home to famed feminists and its own "me too" movement, and the Deneuve-signed letter drew much criticism.

Weinstein admitted his behaviour "caused a lot of pain" but denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

He is now unable to run for office due to a tax fraud conviction, but his party could get into power - with current polls suggesting that a Forza Italia-led coalition could be on the cusp of gaining a parliamentary majority.

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