French film actress Emmanuelle Béart revealed that she was a victim of incest, adding to the national recognition of child sexual abuse in France.

Béart, a multi-award-winning star in her home country and best known to international audiences for her appearances in “Manon des Sources” (1986) and “Mission: Impossible” (1996), tells in a new documentary that she was sexually abused between the ages of 10 and 14, reports GLM affiliate BFMTV.

Béart tells her story in the documentary “Un silence si bruyant” (“Such a noisy silence”), which she co-directs. It is scheduled to premiere on September 24 on the French television channel M6.

Her co-director, Anastasia Mikova, spoke Tuesday at an event to present the film and told the audience that Béart’s father, singer Guy Béart, was not the person who abused her, according to BFMTV.

Mikova went on to say that Béart did not want to name her abuser for “family reasons.”

During the film, which tells the stories of four other victims, Béart says it was her grandmother who “saved” her from the abuse.

A video with a message from Béart was also shown during Tuesday’s event, reports BFMTV.

“I didn’t want to speak, I wanted to open space for others to speak,” she said. “Faced with them, their honesty, their courage, I thought I should speak too.”

Béart also spoke about the documentary in an interview with Elle magazine, published Tuesday.

“This silence, which is first imposed by the person who rapes you, this silence makes a terrible noise inside you and takes all sorts of forms,” she said.

Charlotte Caubel, France’s secretary of state for children, praised Béart for speaking out in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“I salute the courage of Emmanuelle Béart and those who testify alongside her. We must raise awareness of this scourge that continues to destroy so many children,” Caubel wrote. “Every three minutes a child is a victim of sexual violence. Let’s break the silence.”

The issue of incest and child sexual abuse has come to the forefront in France in recent years after an accusation in a prominent family sparked a national rethink.

Lawyer Camille Kouchner wrote a book, “The Big Family,” published in January 2021, in which she accused her stepfather, prominent French intellectual Olivier Duhamel, of abusing her twin brother since the latter was 14 years old.

Duhamel is a former Socialist MEP and reputed political pundit who also chaired the board of trustees of Sciences Po, one of France’s leading universities.

“Being the target of personal attacks, and in an attempt to preserve the institutions in which I work, I am ending my functions,” Duhamel wrote on Twitter shortly after the allegations came to light. This coincided with his resignation from the board of directors of Sciences Po, as well as from his roles at an intellectual club and a political science publication. Duhamel subsequently deleted the tweet and his Twitter account.

The Paris prosecutor’s office announced that it was launching an investigation against Duhamel for “rape and sexual assault by a person who had authority over a 15-year-old minor.” GLM contacted Duhamel’s lawyer at the time for comment, but did not receive a response. The investigation was subsequently dropped because it was time-barred, BFMTV reported.

The Duhamel scandal prompted hundreds of alleged victims to speak out on social media under the hashtag #MetooInceste. French people took to Twitter to share heartbreaking stories of childhood abuse suffered at the hands of their parents and family members, and how that trauma, and the accompanying sense of shame and isolation, often persisted well into adulthood.

Facing Incest, an NGO that supports victims of abuse, said 10% of French people had suffered incest, according to a representative survey of 1,033 French adults over the age of 18, interviewed online Nov. 4-5, 2020, by polling agency Ipsos. “We are talking about a massive crime,” the non-profit organization stated.

In April 2021, French lawmakers passed a law defining sex with a minor under 15 as rape, and punishing it with up to 20 years in prison, similar to many other Western nations, Reuters reported.

Prior to this change, prosecutors seeking a rape conviction had to prove that the sex had not been consensual, according to Reuters.

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