Bad news for Brigitte Bardot.
The actress has been sentenced by the courts to a fine of 20,000 euros for public insults. In 2019, the actress described the inhabitants of Reunion, the French department of the Indian Ocean, as “indigenous people who have kept their wild genes”, because of their habit to torture animals.
Brigitte Bardot had apologized to the Reunionese, justifying her anger by what she considers to be the “tragic fate” of the animals on the island.
Prosecuted for complicity in public insults, Bruno Jacquelin, the press secretary of the 85-year-old former French actress, was fined 4,000 euros.
On October 7, during the trial, the prosecution requested a 25,000 euros fine against the former star who is committed to the defense of the animal cause and 5,000 euros against his collaborator.
Creator of a foundation bearing her name and working for the protection of animals, in March 2019 Brigitte sent an open letter to Amaury de Saint-Quentin, then prefect of Reunion. Claiming to be “invaded by letters denouncing the barbarity that the Reunionese exert on animals”, Brigitte Bardot said that “the natives have kept their genes of savages”.
She had also compared Reunion Island to “the Devil’s Island” with “a degenerate population still imbued with (…) the barbarian traditions which are their roots”.
These invectives had caused great indignation in the island. Annick Girardin, at the time French Minister for Overseas Territories, had sent an open letter to Ms. Bardot. “Racism is not an opinion, it is a crime” she recalled.