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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Bardot denies 'race hate' charge
Brigitte Bardot
Bardot has previous convictions for inciting racial violence
French film legend Brigitte Bardot has appeared in court to deny charges of inciting racial hatred in a book.

Bardot, 69, was defending herself over her best-seller, A Cry In The Silence, in which she said she "opposed the Islamisation of France".

The actress-turned-animal rights campaigner apologised in court, and said: "I never knowingly wanted to hurt anybody. It is not in my character."

If convicted she could face up to a year in jail or a fine.

Literary shortcomings

Bardot appeared in the Paris court on Thursday, wearing a black jacket and trousers and leaning on a cane. She wore red plastic flowers in her hair.

In her book she wrote about issues such as racial mixing, immigration, the role of women in politics and Islam.

Bardot acknowledged her literary shortcomings in court.

"Certainly, I'm not Balzac," she said, referring to master 19th Century French novelist Honore de Balzac.

Brigitte Bardot
During her movie heyday Bardot was an international sex symbol

"The court noticed," replied judge Catherine Bezio.

Bardot has previous convictions for inciting racial violence after criticising in print the Muslim practice of slaughtering sheep.

Despite Bardot's apology in court, she also spoke out against racial mixing and expressed worries about the "infiltration" of France by Islamic extremists.

"Among Muslims, I think there are some who are very good and some hoodlums, like everywhere," she said.

The prosecutor asked for Bardot's conviction but said the court should decide any penalty. A verdict is expected in June.




SEE ALSO:
Bardot racism conviction upheld
11 May 01  |  Entertainment
Bardot fined for racist remarks
16 Jun 00  |  Entertainment


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