Two female members of the wine trade file a lawsuit in France for sexism and cyber-harassment

Tuesday February 02 2021 by Vitisphere

 An online fund to combat harassment and sexism has been launched to fund the bailiff's reports and legal costs of Sandrine Goeyvaerts and Fleur Godart. Their counsel is Éric Morain, known for his commitment to defending organic, biodynamic and natural winegrowers An online fund to combat harassment and sexism has been launched to fund the bailiff's reports and legal costs of Sandrine Goeyvaerts and Fleur Godart. Their counsel is Éric Morain, known for his commitment to defending organic, biodynamic and natural winegrowers - Photo credit : Tribunal de Paris

The cartoon published by French magazine En Magnum has gone from being a news story at the end of 2020 to a legal story in 2021. A fortnight ago, Belgian wine merchant Sandrine Goeyvaerts, who criticised the drawing’s sexism, and sales agency director Fleur Godart, who is allegedly targeted in the illustration, filed a lawsuit for cyber-harassment.

The only thing I did was question the relevance of publishing this cartoon which was neither funny nor had any journalistic purpose. In return, I was harassed, insulted and slandered...” said Goeyvaerts. The chair of the Women Do Wine association received offensive messages from the end of November to the beginning of January, until the people being prosecuted received a summons to appear before the Paris court in February and March which led the attacks to subside a little.

I have been summoned before the seventeenth chamber of the Paris criminal court for insulting a person because of her sex”, says Thierry Desseauve, who has been summoned as publication director of En Magnum and president of his publishing company, Bettane & Desseauve. While the company has apologised to those offended by the cartoon, Desseauve says he will not censor his contributors in the future. “This whole issue is surreal when compared to our beliefs. These people probably suffered cyber-harassment but it didn’t come from Bettane & Desseauve”, he added.

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