Brigitte Macron, France’s first lady, has filed a lawsuit against two women claiming to be transgender, sparking a spate of online rumors weeks before her husband’s expected reelection campaign, a legal source said Friday.
A first hearing is scheduled for June 15 in Paris for civil suits claiming a violation of privacy and fundamental personal rights and wrongful use of her likeness.
A Brigitte Macron lawyer, Jean Ennochi, told AFP that she and her brother, Jean-Michel Trogneux, had also filed a libel suit, a charge that could urge prosecutors to open a criminal case.
The legal action was first reported by M6 television, which said it was filed in part by Brigitte Macron’s three children from a previous marriage and her brother.
In recent months, posts have surfaced on social media claiming that the first lady, formerly Brigitte Trogneux, is a trans woman whose name was “Jean-Michel” at birth.
The two women targeted in the lawsuit, one a self-proclaimed spiritual medium and the other an independent journalist, posted the rumor in December along with photos of the first lady and her family on YouTube.
The post coincided with an increase in the hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux on Twitter and other networks.
Emmanuel Macron’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
The president’s relationship with his wife, 24 years his senior, whom he met when she was a teacher and he was still a teenager, has regularly been a source of media attention in France and abroad.
It’s not the first time the couple has been the target of rumors about gender or sexual orientation: During the 2017 presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron denied claims he was gay.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)