Iranian actress says 'sorry' for Cannes kiss

PECK ON THE CHEEK: Hatami returned the kiss when festival president Jacob, 83, greeted her in the French way.


    May 26, 2014

    Iranian actress says 'sorry' for Cannes kiss


    IRANIAN film star Leila Hatami apologised for kissing the cheek of the president of the Cannes Film Festival, after activists demanded that she be flogged, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

    Hatami, 41, starred in A Separation, which won an Academy Award in 2012, and was a Cannes jury member this year.

    She wrote, in a letter addressed to Iran's Cinema Organisation, that she had told the festival's organisers she would not be able to shake hands with or embrace any men at the event.

    However, Gilles Jacob, the festival's 83-year-old president, initiated a greeting, and she felt compelled to return it, she said.

    "Due to his age, he had forgotten about the measures," she wrote, according to the news service. "He is obviously elderly, and I consider his status to be like that of a grandfather."

    The Sisters of Hezbollah Students group on Wednesday filed a complaint with Iran's judiciary against Hatami's "unacceptable" behaviour, calling for her to be flogged when she returned home, according to the Yalasarat news website.

    Hatami wrote that she was "ashamed". "I am very sorry for having hurt anyone's feelings," she wrote, according to IRNA.