First lady of France to sue over Twitter rumours she is a man and called Jean-Michel Trogneux

Rumours started after journal claimed it had conducted three-year investigation on Brigitte Macron

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 21 December 2021 08:30
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<p>File photo: Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron</p>

File photo: Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron

The first lady of France has said that she will take legal action after rumours claiming that she was born as a man with the name Jean-Michel Trogneux circulated on French Twitter.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s wife, 68-year-old Brigitte Macron, will sue the instigators of the bizarre conspiracy theory, Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The rumour started when right-wing journal Faits et Documents published an article in September claiming it had conducted a three-year investigation into Ms Macron, and that their theory was supported by many experts, according to CNews.

On 10 December, the journalist who claimed to have “investigated” the claims — Natacha Rey —  gave an interview about the theory that lasted almost four hours, according to Numerama. The video was deleted but not before it had gained a viewership of 470,000 people.

Days later, on 13 December, the hashtag  #JeanMichelTrogneux entered the top trends on Twitter in France. The hashtag was used more than 66,000 times on Twitter. The hashtag was the most discussed topic on the social media platform for days and several users bought into the theory.

Trogneux is Ms Macron’s maiden name.

These rumours have surfaced just months before the next French presidential election in April. There were several distasteful memes and jokes about the French first lady on the social media platform, and reports said she was “furious” with the rumour about her gender.

This is not the first time a powerful female figure has been hit by this sort of absurd rumour. Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the US and Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, have both been victims of conspiracy theories about their sex.

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