The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron is launching legal proceedings over the spread of false claims that she is a transgender woman who was born a man, her lawyer has said.
The rumors appeared to have originated in a March Facebook post before spreading in mid-October when a far-right outlet published an article on the supposed “mystery of Brigette Macron.”
The unfounded gossip circulating on social media says Brigitte is a transgender woman whose name at birth was Jean-Michel Trogneux.
The hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux has trended on Twitter in France in recent weeks.
The claims emerged as her husband gears up for elections next year, although President Macron has not yet officially declared he is running.
Brigitte, 68, now intends to file a legal complaint to sue over the disinformation, her lawyer, Jean Ennochi told AFP.
“She has decided to start procedures, it’s in process,” Ennochi told the news service.
The French president first met his wife when he was 15 and she was a 40-year old drama class teacher.
The couple has faced accusations concerning their relationship in the past.
During Macron’s successful 2017 campaign for office, he was forced to deny claims that he had a gay affair.