Creator of France’s #MeToo fined for defamation

Sandra Muller, the central figure behind France’s version of the #MeToo movement, was ordered by a Paris court on Wednesday to pay the equivalent of $22,000 for defaming a man she had accused of sexual misconduct.

Muller, a journalist, launched #balancetonporc (denounce your pig) at the height of the global movement against sexual misconduct in October 2017 when she tweeted that former TV channel executive Eric Brion made sexually explicit comments to her.

French journalist Sandra Muller gives a press conference, in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. 

French journalist Sandra Muller gives a press conference, in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.  (AP)

Muller was featured in TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” 2017 edition alongside other #MeToo “silence breakers.”

Brion took Muller to court over the tweets, arguing that they harmed him and that his remarks were not harassment. The court ruled in his favor, ordering Muller to delete her tweets and to pay Brion $16,400 in damages and $5,400 in legal fees.

Muller said she worried the ruling will silence women who have experienced harassment.

"It's a proceeding that's intended to silence the victims," she said at a news conference. "The message is clear: 'Be quiet.'"

FORMER SEN. AL FRANKEN LANDS SIRIUSXM GIG TO START COMEBACK FROM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Muller's lawyer, Francis Szpiner, suggested the ruling could have implications for what, exactly, is considered sexual harassment in France.

The decision gives men license to say or do offensive things, he told reporters, and "if they only do it one time, it will be excused by the court."

Brion, meanwhile, hailed the ruling on Twitter as a "victory of true justice" after "two years of rare violence."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Muller said she plans to appeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.