Celebrity News

Brigitte Bardot Stands Trial over Race Slurs

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Apr 16, 2008 | 4:38am EDT

Legendary French actress Brigitte Bardot went on trial Tuesday to face a charge of inciting racial hatred after making controversial comments about the religion of Islam.

The 73-year-old former screen siren faces a possible two-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros ($23,500) if she is found guilty.

The Contempt star, who quit the film industry in the 1970s to pursue a career as an animal rights activist, has faced similar charges of inciting racial hatred on four prior occasions.

The latest charges came about after the star publicly published a letter she sent to French president Nicolas Sarkozy last year lambasting the Muslim religious festival of Eid al-Adha--due to its traditions of slaughtering a sheep.

In the letter she says, "I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts."

The first racial hatred charge the star faced was in 1997, when she was fined 1,500 euros ($2,300) for her comments, and most recently she was ordered to pay 5,000 euros ($7,900) for making similar controversial and racially motivated comments.

Prosecutor Anne de Fonette told the court she was seeking a tougher sentence than on previous occasions, stating, "I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs. Bardot."

Bardot did not attend the trial, stating she was physically unable to. The verdict is expected in several weeks.

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