"It completely ruined five years of my life," she told AFP.
However, if it were to be done again, Sandra Muller, the initiator of #balancetonporc, affirms that she would start again "without hesitation".
Five years after this movement, the French equivalent of #MeToo, and despite the trials and the heavy psychological price she says she paid, the journalist believes that things are "progressing" and that it was worth it.
“When you have the means to change a society to install better rules, better laws (…) without calculating it, without anticipating it (…) yes, it is a satisfaction”, adds. -she.
Read alsoThe instigator of "Balance ton porc" sued for defamation
In video, from the Weinstein affair to #MeToo: 2017, the year when women said "Stop"
The duty to nominate
In October 2017, Sandra Muller is already living in New York.
On October 5, the
New York Times
article comes out on the accusations of sexual harassment against the powerful film producer Harvey Weinstein.
"I began to read with frenzy everything there was on the subject, not being able to prevent myself from drawing parallels with our environment", journalism, says Sandra Muller, 51 years old.
By dint of “swallowing all the testimonies for almost a week”, the feeling that she has a responsibility grows in her: “We are journalists, we must designate”, she says she thought at the time.
So on October 13, 2017, two days before actress Alyssa Milano's famous tweet that will explode the #MeToo around the world, she wrote a few words.
you also tell by giving the name and the details of a sexual harasser (sic) that you have known in your job.
I'm waiting for you".
Then a few hours later, she published another tweet, in which she quoted remarks made by the former boss of a television channel, Eric Brion, in a “totally professional setting”: “You have big breasts.
You are my type of woman.
I will make you cum all night long”.
Balance your what
, the new clip of Angèle
The #balancetonporc movement is launched.
Following him, an avalanche of testimonies, controversies, questionings and trials.
Eric Brion acknowledged "inappropriate comments" and apologized;
but claiming to be the subject of an “amalgam between heavy flirting and sexual harassment”, and deploring the consequences for his own personal and professional life, he attacks it and wins the case at first instance: Sandra Muller is condemned for defamation .
On appeal, however, justice recognizes the journalist "the benefit of good faith", and the Court of Cassation confirms it.
During these almost five years, it was often "violent", says Sandra Muller.
Accused of having thrown a man's name into the woods, she defends her word.
"I never said Eric Brion was a rapist," she said.
But it is necessary to "knock out" what is considered to be "the lowest level" of aggression, namely verbal aggression, to hope to fight against physical violence, she argues.
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Not everyone is of this opinion.
“I suffered both virtual and real attacks.
I was the awful witch who had dared to speak”, says the journalist of the Letter of the audiovisual, while evoking the trolls on the social networks, the repercussion on her private life – “reactions of rejection”, a worried family - as a professional.
"It's difficult to find the life before, I'm just starting," she adds.
“I lost work (...).
One day I asked a major radio station (..) if I could do freelance work, and they replied "we can't make Mrs. #balancetonporc work".
Lately, freelancers are coming back, slowly, she explains.
And despite the difficulties, she considers that the results, five years later, are worth it.
#balancetonporc, #MeToo, "it still made society progress", she says, citing the freedom of speech, the measures taken in companies.
Before, many of the people engaging in harassment or worse "could go ahead with impunity, do what they wanted with an organized general silence, considerable support".
Today, “these people will think twice before coming to attack”, she wants to believe.
Admittedly, the question of the prescription of the facts in France remains “central” and “there will always be more laws to be made, more mobilization, education”, in particular of boys.
"But I still think that in five years we have evolved a lot when compared to the last 40, right?" she says.