The French animation website 3DVF has published a report about the legal troubles of veteran French animation director Eric “Bibo” Bergeron, who has helmed features on both sides of the Atlantic — Dreamworks Animation’s The Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale in the United States and A Monster in Paris in France.

According to an unidentified source who spoke with 3DVF, the website claims that Bergeron has been indicted under French law after he was temporarily placed in French police custody at the end of last year. The indictment stems from an alleged sexual harassment and rape incident that took place during the production of his 2011 film, A Monster in Paris. The suicide of his victim is being attributed to Bergeron’s rape.

Cartoon Brew has independently confirmed that there have been allegations against Bergeron. We have also learned that these allegations against Bergeron were well known throughout the French animation industry.

Bergeron’s last announced project was Charlotte, an animated biopic of German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon, who was killed in a concentration camp during World War II. The film is currently in production, however it is not clear if Bergeron is still attached to the film. [SEE UPDATE BELOW]

Updated on 1/13/20, 8:15 pm ET: The producers of Charlotte have confirmed to Cartoon Brew that Bergeron has not worked on the film since October 4, 2019. The film is co-directed by Eric Warin (Ballerina) and Tahir Rana (Welcome to the Wayne) from a script by Eric Rutherford and David Bezmozgis. The film is currently in animation production and scheduled to finish in summer 2020. The film pays tribute to the over-looked life of painter Charlotte Salomon, who created one of the world’s first graphic memoirs before her death in Auschwitz in 1944.

Updated on 1/14/20, 8:45 am ET: Bergeron’s lawyer Stéphane Le Buhan has released a short statement to 3DVF, the website that broke the story on Bergeron’s indictment. The translated version says:

Mr Eric BERGERON wishes to clarify that he denies the entirety of the facts he is been accused of and he intends to indicate that he will restore his honor before the justice tainted by the serious charges against him.

As such, he would like to benefit, as every litigant, of the presumption of innocence.

The original statement in French is below:

Monsieur Eric BERGERON tient à préciser qu’il conteste l’intégralité des faits qui lui sont reprochés et entend indiquer qu’il rétablira son honneur devant le justice entaché par les graves accusations dont il fait l’objet.

A cet titre, il souhaite bénéficier comme chaque justiciable de la présomption d’innocence.

Updated 1/14/20, 10:45 am ET: French film website Premiere reports (via Le Film Francais, which has a paywall) that Aix-en-Provence public prosecutor Achille Kiriakides has confirmed the rape complaint against Bergeron, which dates back to 2007. Bergeron’s alleged victim committed suicide in 2017. (Note: This update also included additional information about the case from sources who had spoken to Cartoon Brew, however a representative of the victim’s family has denied those claims and thus we have removed them.)

Bergeron photo at top by Erio Tac used under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 license.

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