French court throws out soprano’s #Metoo complaint

French court throws out soprano’s #Metoo complaint


norman lebrecht

September 23, 2022

The prosecutor at Besancon has dismissed charges by the soprano Chloé Briot that she was physically groped and sexually humiliated by a male colleague in performances of the opera L’Inondation (pictured) by Francesco Filidei at the Opéra Comique in Paris.

A counter-complaint of slander by the baritone, who was not named, was also thrown out by the prosecutor, who said the man had changed his behaviour after being spoken to by the director, Joël Pommerat.

The prosecutor added that the baritone’s career had been ended by the complaint. He now works as a caregiver.

Court report here.


  • Mary says:

    So according to the prosecutor, her claim wasn’t true but it wasn’t false either, or rather, the claim was true enough not to be false but false enough not to be true.

    Clearly, the concept of “affirmative consent” is foreign to the prosecutor. The prosecutor’s reasoning seems to be the opposite: “affirmative non-consent”.

    Something like: “As long as a woman doesn’t say ‘don’t grope me’, how is a man supposed to know he isn’t supposed ‘to grope her’? It’s so unclear and unfair to men, trying to figure out what does on in the little heads of women, and paying such a high price for not guessing wrong.”

    Errr, don’t guess. Ask first.

  • Legal Beagle says:

    Not difficult to work out who.

    I don’t know how to take this one. If the director had to speak with him then something must have been amiss in his conduct, but if the complaint was found to be lacking on the balance of probability, then he surely should have recourse to rebuild his life and career?

    Obviously not to take away from the incredible things the #MeToo movement has achieved, but this situation strikes me as unjust.

  • Lothario Hunter says:

    “With metoo Mozart would be in jail” (Riccardo Muti)

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    The baritone is named in the article on Forum Opéra. Neither person seems to have come out of it to any advantage.

  • IP says:

    Nice. She returns to singing, he returns to changing nappies, and justice has been done.

  • tet says:

    The root of the problem is these middle-aged male stage directors whose concepts of operas range from sophomoric titillation to sophomoric violence, always involving young women, and they think they are avant-garde.

    We don’t need diversity on the podium as much as diversity of stage directors.

    I am bored and tired of witnessing white middle-class middle-aged male angst replayed over and over again on opera stages.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      …I am bored and tired of witnessing white middle-class middle-aged male angst replayed over and over again on opera stages…

      How terribly on-message of you. Try, at least, to think for yourself.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      And white, middle-class, middle-ages females (directors) have no agenda?

  • Herbie G says:

    Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ comes to mind…

  • Harpist says:

    So, her charges have been dismissed – but the counter charge from the alleged groper as well because “he has changed his behavior”…?! Seems her charges had some merit there.