French police say sorry to woman who tackled Macron on rape claims

A woman (left) asked Macron (right) about the appointment of ministers accused of rape in a widely shared video. SCREENSHOT: TWITTER

TOULOUSE, FRANCE (AFP) - French police have apologised to a woman after allegedly seeking to "intimidate" her after she challenged President Emmanuel Macron on rape allegations made against ministers.

The woman, called Laura, had shouted at Macron during a visit to the southern Tarn region on Thursday, asking why he had "put men at the head of state who are accused of rape and violence against women".

There have been separate rape accusations made against Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and the new Solidarity Minister Damien Abad, which both have denied.

In response, Macron said the men should be presumed to be innocent, as neither had been convicted.

Police officers subsequently visited the woman at her secondary school on Friday, interrupting a class she was attending to interview her, she told Le Parisien daily.

She could not be reached by AFP for comment.

She was reportedly asked if she wanted to file a complaint over comments she made during her exchange with the president.

But the woman, who characterised the visit as "intimidating," said the conversation quickly turned to her comments the day before, with an officer telling her it "was not done".

In a statement on social media on Friday, police said their visit "was simply aimed at contacting this person, who presented herself as a victim, to suggest they make a formal complaint, or failing that to offer them help.

"We would like to apologise to her if our move to meet her at the high school to discuss this was misperceived and she considers that we were clumsy," the statement added.

Images of the woman's exchange with the president have been shared thousands of times on social media.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (left) and the Solidarity Minister Damien Abad (right) have both denied rape accusations against them. PHOTOS: AFP

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