brigitte macron
France's first 'First Lady' is obviously a woman. Right?
Brigitte Macron has brought forward her libel trial against Natacha Rey, who made bizarre claims that the French First lady was born a man.

The hearing has been moved from March 2025 to June 19, 2024, at the request of Macron's lawyer following Rey's claims that she was born under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux.

Since the interview with Rey, 48, on a YouTube channel at the end of 2021, lawyer Jean Ennochi said the rumours surrounding French President Emmanuel Macron's 70-year-old wife had continued to be fuelled.

Ennochi therefore requested the hearing to be sped up, as concerns around how the rumours have spread beyond France and into the United States have arisen.

He also said: 'In recent weeks, particularly internationally, via the Trumpist influencer Candace Owens, who relayed, I felt that the harm to my clients was increasing day by day'.

Comment: "Trumpist influencer"!?

Last month American conservative commentator Candace Owens took to Twitter to tout the controversial theory after briefly speaking about it on an episode of her Candace Owens Podcast.

Comment: Here's Owens' show, reuploaded elsewhere because she was apparently convinced to take it down from her own social media accounts.

She said she will 'stake her entire professional reputation' on the already debunked theory that Brigitte Macron was born a man.

Comment: It hasn't really been debunked. It's been disparaged, certainly, but not debunked.

The tweet claimed that the First Lady transitioned at the age of 30, as well making outlandish claims that she did not give birth to any of her three children, and that her first husband, a 69-year-old retired banker said to have died a recluse in 2020, never existed.

Comment: The evidence for each of these being true is, well... it's there, although we can't make a judgment on how strong that evidence is.

The conspiracy stems from an completely false claim made by far-right magazine Faits et Documents (Facts & Documents), after Macron, 46, was elected.

Comment: It's actually a 5-part series that became a 200-page book, not a "claim."

But the debate was reignited last month after Emmanuel Macron's step-daughter, Tiphaine Auzière, gave an interview to Paris Match in which she addressed claims that her mother Brigitte was born male.

Auzière was just 10 when she found out that her teacher mom was involved with a student who was 25 years her junior.

'I have concerns about the level of society when I hear what is circulating on social networks about my mother being a man,' she said.

Speaking to Le Nouvel Obs, Rey said she will not be able to travel in June due to being 'very weakened by cancer'.

Her lawyer, Mr Danglehant, confirmed that on the day of the new hearing, he will request a medical certificate - which can be rejected.

It comes after two women - including Rey, who falsely claimed Brigitte Macron was born a man - were punished with 'symbolic fines' reduced on appeal, it emerged at the beginning of last month.

Comment: Symbolic fines reduced on appeal... in a case where the reputation of the president of the country - very much an 'homme du regime' and thus instinctively if not explicitly protected by the judicial system - is at stake... what a strange legal outcome for something that is 'so obviously untrue'.

In turn, both claimed they were subjected to 'intimidation by the authorities' as 'ultra protected' members of the Paris establishment tried to cover up a 'state secret'.

Details of the bizarre case focused on Macron's wife were revived on March 1 after her own daughter talked publicly about the accusations for the first time.

The future politician was just 15 when he began a relationship with the then married mother-of-three Brigitte Auzière, who was 40 at the time, and teaching drama at La Providence high school in Amiens, northern France.

Comment: If the theory were true, "Brigitte" would actually have been 47 at the time...

As the French debated the unconventional personal life of their head of state, MailOnline obtained details of a judgement handed down at the Caen Appeal Court last June.

It referred to two defendants - Amandine Roy, a 52-year-old clairvoyant, and Rey.

Both had appeared on a four-hour YouTube video in December 2021 in which they claimed that Brigitte was born as a baby boy called Jean-Michel Trogneux in 1953.

This is in fact the name of Brigitte's brother, and Ms Macron was called Brigitte Trogneux before her first marriage.

A judge sitting at Lisieux, in Normandy, originally fined the two women the equivalent of £1,700 each, after finding them both guilty of libel.

Comment: Fact-check: false! They were not found guilty of libel because they were not explicitly sued for libel. In fact, in its ruling, the court told the Macrons to go away and file a proper libel suit:
In its decision, consulted by AFP, the court declared null the summons issued by Brigitte Macron for infringement of respect for private life and image rights, considering that the facts she denounced should have been qualified as public defamation.

But, following appeals, Roy was fined the equivalent of just £850, and Rey had £1,300 of her £1,700 fine suspended, meaning she had to pay just £400.

Comment: ...because they weren't sued for libel/defamation, they were sued for something over 'image rights'.

Witnesses called to court included Catherine and Jean-Louis Auzière, a childless couple living in Deauville, Normandy.

Jean-Louis Auzière was once Brigitte Macron's uncle, when Brigitte was married to André-Louis Auzière.

Natacha Rey claimed that Jean-Louis Auzière had falsified administrative documents to hide a 'state secret' - namely that his wife had given birth to all of Brigitte's three children, including Tiphaine Auzière.

But Jean-Louis Auzière told the court: 'I worked with Brigitte until the end of the 1980s, I can confirm to you that she is not a man.'

The original complaint against Rey and Roy was for invasion of private life, violation of image rights and infringement of personality rights, but the final case was for defamation.

Comment: No that 'final case' hasn't happened yet - after THREE YEARS of this being all over the French internet!

Frédéric Pichon, Rey's defence barrister, said her investigation about Ms Macron had been 'carried out in good faith' and in line with Article 10 of the European Court of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

He expressed outrage that his client was 'placed in police custody twice during the case', saying: 'I am shocked by the disproportionate means deployed by the authorities to silence her.'

Mr Pichon added: 'This looks like intimidation coming from ultra-protected people. If the theses she develops are so far-fetched, why go after her like this?

'My client is not very wealthy, at least much less than those who are angry with her.'

All parties to the case accepted the 'symbolic fines' handed down on appeal as a final settlement to what had become a huge embarrassment to Mr and Mrs Macron.

The transphobic rumours about Mrs Macron were picked up by the far-Right in 2022, while the President was campaigning for re-election.

Groups including the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) and those protesting against Covid vaccines all used the claims to attack Mr Macron.

The video produced by Rey and Roy has since been removed from YouTube.

The Elysée Palace has yet to react on the comments by Tiphaine Auzière, who is promoting her new novel - a legal drama entitled 'Assizes', in reference to a criminal court.

This was despite lurid headlines across France, such as one in Gala, which reads: 'Transphobic rumour about Brigitte Macron: why her daughter Tiphaine is worried'.

'I learned a lot about human nature,' Ms Auzière said in the interview published on Thursday, in which she also discussed learning of her mother's relationship with Macron, resulting in the divorce of her parents.

'I know that, in these moments, we must focus on the essential and move forward without taking into account criticism,' she said of the transphobic rumours.

'The attacks, the backbiting, the judgements. It was not yet the era of social networks, but we were in a small provincial town. Everything is known.

Comment: Indeed, there's something weird about the place they're all from: Emmanuel Macron's grandmother, who appears to have been the person who mostly raised him, was a friend of Brigitte's since he was a young boy... which would make it more likely that he and her met each other much earlier than when he was 15.

'Despite all this, they stood tall. I gained an open mind, the desire to move forward without listening to peripheral noise, and gained greater tolerance.'

Ms Auzière said was particularly upset that her humiliated father, André-Louis Auzière, was forced to leave the family home in 1994, even though he did not divorce Brigitte until 2006, allowing Mr Macron to marry her a year later.

'A family separation can be a sorrow and an opportunity,' said Ms Auzière. 'Recomposition can prove to be an enrichment.

'I have a beloved father and stepfather,' she added.