Brigitte Macron to take legal action over conspiracy she was born male
The BBC reported, Brigitte Macron is set to take legal action over an internet conspiracy theory that she is a transgender woman and was born male.
The French first lady has been targeted on social media with the false claims, after they were published on a far-right website in September then circulated by conspiracy theorists.
The rumours claim she was born male under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux.
The name has trended on social media with tens of thousands of mentions.
A lawyer for Mrs Macron - who is the mother of three adult children from her first marriage - confirmed she is taking action.
lawyer Jean Ennochi confirmed to the AFP news agency: "She has decided to initiate proceedings, it is in progress."
The lies about the 68-year-old have been spread by accounts opposed to her husband, President Emmanuel Macron, including those on the political far-right, anti-vaccine groups and from the QAnon conspiracy movement.
French media have traced the story to an article written on a far-right journal by a woman named Natacha Rey. It then found a wider audience after being discussed in a much-viewed YouTube broadcast with views shared online by an assortment of anti-vaxxers, Covid-sceptics and far-right activists, according to Libération newspaper.
This is not the first time Mrs Macron has been targeted since her husband was elected in 2017, as trolls have previously taken aim at the couple's near 25-year age gap.
The conspiracy theory comes as France faces a presidential election in spring 2022.
Mr Macron has not yet officially confirmed he will run for a second term but is widely expected to.
He faces competition from Valérie Pécresse, candidate for the traditional right-wing Republicans party, and Eric Zemmour, a French TV personality and author, who hopes to represent the far-right.