French actress Isabelle Adjaniwho was Oscar nominated for “Camille Claudel” and “The Story of Adele H.,” has been under formal investigation for alleged fraud relating to hundreds of thousands of dollars of business expenses since October 2020, a judicial source confirmed to Variety on Monday.
The investigation stems from a police complaint filed by a former business associate, Sebastien G., in 2015, according to the French national newspaper Liberation which was first to report the story. Variety has contacted Adjani’s lawyer, Olivier Pardo, for comment.
According to the story published in Liberation, the case dates back to 2011 when Adjani hired Sebastien G. as a strategy consultant to help her run her production company, Isia Films. Sebastien G. allegedly obtained a credit line for Adjani as well as an American Express card on which she charged €364,000 ($385,400) over a period of 13 months, per the French report. Sebastien G. said he was fired days after he took the card back from Adjani. He said also he lent her €157,000 ($166,230) which she didn’t pay back. After he had some of Adjani’s assets seized in relation to her debts, she filed a lawsuit accusing him of abuse of corporate assets.
The case was eventually dropped. Sebastien G. then filed a police complaint in 2015 accusing Adjani to have produced fake payment receipts for the €157,000 she was supposed to pay him back. The complaint also involves Mimi Marchand, head of the news agency Bestimage, who allegedly helped Adjani produce these payments receipts. Once the formal investigation is completed, a judge will decide whether to drop the case or put Adjani on trial.
Adjani’s latest film, “Petra Van Kant,” directed by Francois Ozon, opens this week in France. Inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s cult film “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant,” the movie played on opening night at the Berlin Film Festival. She also stars in Nicolas Bedos’s heist comedy “Mascarade” which world premiered at this year’s Cannes.