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This file photo taken on May 13, 2015, shows French actress Catherine Deneuve attending a news conference in Cannes, southeastern France.

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

Film star Catherine Deneuve has apologized to victims of "odious" acts of sexual abuse, after she signed a much-criticized letter saying men are being unfairly accused of sexual misconduct.

The letter, signed by 100 French women, says the wave of accusations against powerful men since the Harvey Weinstein scandal has gone too far. The letter prompted a backlash in France and beyond.

In response, Deneuve wrote a letter published Monday by daily Liberation apologizing to abuse victims. However she also defended her view that men are becoming victims of a "media lynching" and that the current atmosphere threatens sexual freedom.

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She denounced abuse of power and called for better justice against proven abusers. She also defended her feminist credentials, noting that she publicly backed legalizing abortion in France.

Actress Mia Kirshner, producer/director Aisling Chin-Yee and actor/producer Freya Ravensbergen talk about #AfterMeToo, a two-day symposium on sexual misconduct in the film industry, in collaboration with The Globe and Mail
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