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Mission Impossible actor Emmanuelle Béart says she was a victim of incest as a child

The Mission: Impossible star said she was abused for four years during her childhood but did not identify her abuser.
The Mission: Impossible star said she was abused for four years during her childhood but did not identify her abuser. Copyright LOIC VENANCE/AFP
Copyright LOIC VENANCE/AFP
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on Updated
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The Mission: Impossible star said she was abused for four years during her childhood but did not identify her abuser.

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French actor Emmanuelle Béart has revealed she was a victim of incest as a child in a documentary presented on Tuesday.

The Mission: Impossible star said she was abused for four years during her childhood but did not identify her abuser.

Béart, who has starred in dozens of films and TV productions over the past 50 years, is the co-director of the documentary.

It was screened at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday and will be broadcast on France’s M6 channel on September 24.

Béart, who is 60 years old, has been famous in France for decades thanks to performances in Manon of the Spring, A Heart in Winter and Nelly and Mr Arnaud. She has also found global fame with roles in Mission: Impossible and 8 Women.

The attacker was not her father - singer Guy Béart - documentary co-director Anastasia Mikova told reporters.

Speaking for the actor, who was not present, Mikova said Béart would not name her abuser because that is not “the approach of the film”. The incest started when Béart was 10 and continued until she was 14, she said.

The documentary, titled Such a Resounding Silence, includes the stories of four incest victims, as well as Béart’s own contribution.

In a video message at Tuesday’s news conference, Béart said she had initially not wanted to talk about herself, only about other incest victims. 

“But their honesty and their courage made me want to speak out, too,” she said.

In the documentary, her voice is heard off-screen, addressing her abuser: “Since my father, my mother and my friends didn’t notice anything, you could do this again, and you did, over four years.”

She was “saved” by her grandmother, Béart said.

Some 160,000 children become victims of sexual assault every year in France, and 5.5 million French adults suffered sexual abuse during their childhood, according to Ciivise, a government created commission for the protection of sexual abuse victims.

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