Court orders French #MeToo founder to pay damages for defamation
PARIS: A Paris court on Wednesday ordered the woman behind France’s answer to the #MeToo campaign to pay thousands of euros in damages for defaming the man she had accused of sexual harassment in a viral Twitter post.
Sandra Muller, a French journalist who coined the viral hashtag #balancetonporc ( “expose your pig”) to describe the alleged harassment, slammed the verdict as “incomprehensible” and urged women to continue to speak out.
In a closely watched civil suit, the court ruled against Muller and ordered her to pay 15,000 euros ($16,500) in damages to French TV executive Eric Brion who she had accused of making sexually lewd remarks at a party, according to the ruling.
She was also ordered to pay 5,000 euros in legal fees to Brion, to delete the tweet, and to publish the court ruling on her Twitter account and in two press outlets.
Her lawyer Francis Szpiner told reporters they would appeal the decision, denouncing the ruling as “out of its time”.
Muller expressed dismay over the ruling and the size of the damages but insisted she did not regret coining the hashtag.