French Director René Clément Propositioned Jane Fonda for Sake of Role: ‘The Character Had to Have an Orgasm’

Jane Fonda is calling out late French filmmaker René Clément over on-set sexual harassment.

The “Book Club: The Next Chapter” actress revealed to “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen that Clément propositioned her while filming 1964 thriller “Joy House.” The film also starred Alain Delon and Lola Albright, featuring both American and French actors under Clément’s agreement with MGM. Natalie Wood was originally set to star before dropping out; Fonda replaced the “Rebel Without a Cause” actress.

Host Cohen asked Fonda to name “one man in Hollywood that tried to pick you up once that you turned down,” to which Fonda replied, “The French director René Clément.”

The Oscar winner continued, “Well, he wanted to go to bed with me because he said the character had to have an orgasm in the movie and he needed to see what my orgasms were like. He said it in French and I pretended I didn’t understand.”

Clément was 51 years old at the time of production; Fonda was 27.

She added to Cohen, “I have stories for you, kid, [but] we don’t have time.”

“Forbidden Games” filmmaker and Cannes award winner Clément died in 1996. Fonda’s statement comes on the heels of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival being protested for its inclusion of controversial filmmakers like Johnny Depp and Maïwenn, who both star in opening night film “Jeanne du Barry.” Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux has defended their respective presences at the festival in the wake of the MeToo movement.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” star Adèle Haenel also criticized the French film industry for defending known “sexual aggressors” like actor Gerard Depardieu, who was accused of sexual misconduct by 13 women, and director Roman Polanski, who raped then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977.

“They join hands [to protect] the [Gerard] Depardieus, the [Roman] Polanskis, the [Dominique] Boutonnats,” Haenel wrote. “It bothers them that the victims make too much noise. They preferred that we disappear and die in silence.”

She added that the French industry has effectively “canceled” its own #MeToo movement over the years, writing, “You have the money, the strength, and all the glory [but] you won’t have me as a spectator. I cancel you from my world.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *