Director Allegedly Throws Cell Phone at Actress Girlfriend in Startling Domestic Violence Incident

French actor Judith Chemla reportedly did not attend the Cannes Film Festival world premiere of her latest film because her director, who is also her boyfriend, allegedly threw a cell phone at her. Chemla, 37, filed a complaint on July 4 against Mes Freres et Moi director Yohan Manca for an incident that happened the day before, according to Variety. Reps for the star and director have not commented on the allegations.

The alleged incident happened on July 3 in the street near a theater in Paris. A source close to Chemla said the actor accused Manca of throwing the phone at her face. The two were allegedly having an argument when Manca turned violent. The two have been dating for five years and share a daughter.

judith chemla getty images
Judith Chemla (Photo: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Sources told Variety on July 11 that Chemla would not attend the premiere of Mes Freres et Moi at the Cannes International Film Festival, where the film played in the Un Certain Regard lineup. Manca also dropped plans to attend the festival and is instead staying in Paris with their daughter. Chemla went to the Avignon Festival to perform on stage on July 13 but had planned to make a brief appearance in Cannes for the film's premiere.

Chemla is the best-known star in Mes Freres et Moi, which centers on a 14-year-old boy who grows up in a housing project in the south of France with his sailing mother and four brothers. It was the first film directed by Manca, who is an actor. The film was one of 18 movies screened in the Un Certain Regard section, which featured a jury led by filmmaker Andrea Arnold. The Russian film Unclenching the Fists received the Un Certain Regard Award.


Chemla is a rising star in France. She made her film debut in 2007, appearing in Hellphone and Let's Dance. In 2012, she earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Cesar Awards for Camille Rewinds. In 2016, she was nominated for Best Actress at the Caesar Awards for A Woman's Life. During the coronavirus lockdown, she took part in a Good Friday service from the Notre Dame cathedral, where she read and performed "Ave Maria."