Brigitte Bardot fined for 'savages' jibe against French Indian Ocean island
Brigitte Bardot (AFP/AFP/File )

French screen legend turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was on Thursday fined 20,000 euros ($23,000) by a court on France's Indian Ocean island of La Reunion over a 2019 diatribe where she described its inhabitants as "savages".

Bardot, 87, launched the rambling attack against the inhabitants of La Reunion, one of France's overseas territories spread across the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean, in response to what she saw as their mistreatment of animals.

Her spokesman Bruno Jacquelin was also fined by the court in the main town of Saint-Denis de la Reunion 4,000 euros for his role in sending the statement to several media outlets at her request.

"The natives have kept their savage genes," the animal rights campaigner wrote in an open letter attacking the islanders for their treatment of animals, describing locals as "degenerate savages".

She took aim at the island's Hindu Tamil population for sacrificing goats, evoking the "cannibalism of past centuries" as she lashed "a degenerate population still soaked in barbarous ancestral traditions".

Bardot, who shot to fame in the 1956 film "...And God Created Woman", has become a controversial figure, and has also been convicted in the past over her comments about Muslims.

France's then overseas territories minister Annick Girardin told her in a letter at the time after her comments on Le Reunion "that racism is not an opinion, it's an offense".

© 2021 AFP