The ex-actress had notably compared Reunion Island to “the Devil’s Island” with “a degenerate population still imbued with (…) the barbaric traditions which are their roots”.
Brigitte Bardot, who in 2019 qualified the Reunionese as “natives who kept their wild genes», Was sentenced Thursday, November 4 by the judicial court of Saint-Denis to 20,000 euros for racial insults.
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Prosecuted for complicity in public insults, Bruno Jacquelin, the press secretary of the former 85-year-old actress, was fined 4,000 euros. At the request of his employer, he forwarded the disputed letter to several media, including AFP.
On October 7, during the trial, the prosecution requested a 25,000 euros fine against the former star who defends the animal cause and 5,000 euros against his collaborator Creator of a foundation bearing his name and working for the protection of animals, the former actress had sent in March 2019 an open letter to Amaury de Saint-Quentin, then prefect of Reunion. Saying “invaded by letters (…) denouncing the barbarity that the Réunionese exert on animals“, Brigitte Bardot said that”the natives kept their wild genes“. She also compared Reunion to “devil’s island” with “a degenerate population still imbued with (…) the barbarian traditions that are their roots».
“Racism is not an opinion, it is a crime”
These invectives had caused great indignation in the island. Annick Girardin, at the time Minister of Overseas Territories, had sent an open letter to the former actress. “Racism is not an opinion, it is a crime»Recalled the minister. The deputy Jean-Hugues Ratenon (LFI) the Licra, the Mrap and SOS Racisme, the human rights league and Hindu religious associations and groups then lodged a complaint against the former actress.
Brigitte Bardot had apologized to the Reunionese by justifying her anger by what she considers to be the “tragic fate»Animals on the island. “It’s stupidity (…). She speaks of reminiscences of cannibalism, there are reminiscences of colonialist thought»Exclaimed at the hearing Master Axel Vardin, lawyers of Jean-Hugues Ratenon and Hindu associations.
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Madame Bardot’s words are “offensive, hurtfulProsecutor Bérengère Prudhomme said. “The defense of animals is the life of Brigitte Bardot. Animal distress is a reality in Reunion », asserted at the hearing his lawyer, Maître Catherine Moissonier. She had qualified the Brigitte Bardot Foundation as a whistleblower with regard to animal distress.
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