French director and animator Eric "Bibo" Bergeron was arrested for raping a woman who used to be his student. Bergeron reportedly raped the woman in 2007. Ten years later, the woman committed suicide. The police had been investigating the woman's rape and death since 2018. On January 2, Bergeron was finally arrested.
The unnamed victim was reportedly a student at Gobelins film school in Paris. She even worked on the production team of Bergeron's 2011 film, "A Monster in Paris." The prosecutor's office in Aix-en-Provence, south-eastern France confirmed that the 54-year-old French director has been charged with rape.
The abuse reportedly occurred in 2007. The director continued to have a position of power over the victim, as she worked on his film in 2011. The influential director's abuse was seen as a contributing factor that led to the victim taking her own life in 2017. After her death, an investigation was launched and Bergeron had been placed under judicial supervision in 2018.
Bergeron has denied the rape allegations. The Sun reported that Bergeron's lawyer, Stephane Le Buhan, stated that he "will restore to justice his honour, marred by the serious accusations against him."
Some popular movies which Bergeron animated or directed were -"Shark Tale,""Asterix and the Big Fight,""A Goofy Movie,""The Adventures of Pinocchio,""Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,""The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper," and "Flushed Away." Bergeron's first movie was "Asterix in Britain," for which he worked as an assistant animator. He made his directorial debut with "Road to El Dorado."
The accusations against Bergeron are similar to those by French actress Adele Haenel against 55-year-old director Christophe Ruggia. Haenel accused Ruggia on November 3, 2019, of sexually harassing her. She revealed that the paedophile director abused her when she was just 12. He continued to abuse her until she was 15. He reportedly abused her during shoots and film festivals.
The rape accusations against the directors are a part of the #MeToo movement, which has triggered the French film industry to open up about sexual abuse.