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Macron slams rumors about wife’s gender

Conspiracy theorists have claimed that Brigitte Macron was born male under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux

French President Emmanuel Macron has hit back at a long-standing conspiracy theory that his 70-year-old wife Brigitte is a transgender woman.

“The worst thing is the false information and fabricated scenarios,” Macron told French journalists on Friday. “People eventually believe them and disturb you, even in your intimacy.”

Macron was speaking on International Women’s Day, after inscribing the guaranteed right to abortion into France’s constitution. The French leader added that the transgender claims about his wife were typical of misogynistic online attacks that women have to put up with on a daily basis.

The rumors about Macron’s wife date back to 2021, and were started by two French women – an independent journalist and a self-proclaimed spiritual ‘medium’. A series of posts on Facebook and a video interview between the two women, posted on YouTube, gained traction – and the hashtag #JeanMichelTrogneux went viral. The hashtag is a reference to what conspiracy theorists believe to be Brigitte Macron’s real birth name. Jean Michel Trogneux is in fact her brother’s name.

READ MORE: French first lady sues over transgender claims

In 2022, the French first lady and her brother filed a lawsuit against self-proclaimed psychic Amandine Roy, 52 and freelance reporter Natacha Rey, 48. Following appeals, Roy was fined less than €1,000 and Rey had to pay approximately €500.

Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly faced questions about his relationship with his wife, who is 24 years his senior and taught at the French president’s high school. Macron was just 17 years old when he declared his intention to marry Trogneux, who was his literature teacher. They married in 2007. Although they have no children together, Trogneux has three children and seven grandchildren.

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