• Courts previously ruled Brigitte Macron had no cause for an invasion of privacy or violation of public image prosecution

PARIS (Agencies): Two women have gone on trial for defamation in France after claiming that President Emmauel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, was a man once named “Jean-Michel,” France24 reported on Thursday.

Amandine Roy, a self-proclaimed spiritual medium, was questioned in a Paris court on Wednesday, while the second defendant, independent journalist Natacha Rey, cited illness and was absent.

In a 2021 interview, Roy quizzed Rey on her YouTube channel, where the journalist aired the theory that Brigitte Macron was actually the transgender identity of her brother, Jean-Michel Trogneux. The interview was followed by a social media storm of claims that the French first lady, formerly named Brigitte Trogneux, was Jean-Michel under a new identity.

Brigitte Macron filed lawsuits in 2022 after the video was posted, alleging it defamed her, invaded her and her brother’s privacy, and violated her public image. The judge ruled there was no case for invasion of privacy or violation of image. The public defamation case had been pending since January 2022.

Brigitte Macron’s lawyer, Jean Ennochi, is demanding €10,000 ($10,750) in compensation for both the first lady and her brother, according to France24.

Neither President Macron nor his wife were present at the proceedings, the network noted.

France’s first lady was born Brigitte Marie-Claude Trogneux to a family of chocolatiers from Amiens. She married banker Andre-Louis Auziere in 1974, and the couple had three children together. She met Emmanuel Macron when he was 15 and she was teaching literature at La Providence Jesuit high school in her hometown. She divorced Auziere in 2006 and married Macron – 24 years her junior – in 2007.

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