The French First Lady was the target of an article published in ultraconservative magazine “Faits et documents” earlier in 2021. Written by Natacha Rey, the article claims that after three years of investigation, they can confirm Ms Macron was born Jean-Michel Trogneux, making her the first trans first lady.
The accusations were taken seriously by a number of conspiracy theory websites from October until Ms Rey promoted her investigation on a psychic show on YouTube.
The video was seen more than 450,000 times and pushed the hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux to the top trends of French Twitter.
Among the hundreds of accounts that shared the hashtag, the French newspaper Libération identified many far-right supporters, anti-Macron campaigners and anti-vaxx protestors.
Jean Ennochi, Ms Macron’s lawyer, said he would take legal actions on behalf of his clients.
Natacha Rey, who wrote the infamous article, could face charges for her work.
Reports showed that Ms Rey had insulted Brigitte Macron publicly on Facebook since January 2019.
She has compared the French First Lady to “E.T.” and called out “the atrocities of cosmetic surgery.”
In December 2018, during the yellow vest protests, she addressed threats to Emmanuel Macron.
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Brigitte Macron, 68, was born Brigitte Marie-Claude Trogneux in the North of France and gave birth to three children before she married Emmanuel Macron in 2007.
For Tristan Mendès-France, an academic and expert in online conspiracy theories, the rumour started in the far-right niche but was given clout by people who were scandalised by it and shared the news.
He also claims that some anti-Macron protestors seized the opportunity to contest the President, even if it came to tarnish his spouse’s image.
When he was Minister of the Economy under François Hollande, Mr Macron also faced rumours regarding his sexuality and a possible romance with Matthieu Galet, the former head of Radio France.
Tristan Mendès-France told Marianne: “Whether they are American or French, for some extreme right-wing conspirators, there is a moral degeneration of our elites, and therefore a sexual degeneration.
“It is this myth of the ‘pedo-satanist elites’ with deviant practices.”
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