Trial Begins in French Defamation Case Against Two Women Accusing First Lady of Being Transgender

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

Two women are facing trial in France for defamation after spreading a claim that President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, was formerly a man 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, was absent due to illness.

In a 2021 interview, Roy questioned Rey on her YouTube channel about the theory that Brigitte Macron was actually the transgender identity of her brother, Jean-Michel Trogneux. The interview sparked widespread social media 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 that there was no basis for an invasion of privacy or image violation lawsuit. The public defamation case has been pending since January 2022.

Brigitte Macron’s lawyer, Jean Ennochi, is seeking €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 into 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.