An Impossible Love: Justice – Not a Leg to Stand On


When the true handicap is the court

When they first got in touch, they were just fans of the famous actress Sophie Marceau. This nice and innocent friendship turned into something more serious: it became a deep but also prohibited and impossible love, because she is 36 years old and he’s 20 years younger. Also because she is missing her legs and one arm and he is still attending high school. It is a touching love story that the French authorities want to break up. The woman was sentenced to two months imprisonment but they want to keep on struggling and loving each other freely.

The relationship between A. and H. was born in 2008 on a web forum where users would exchange critics and opinions about the actress, who had become famous worldwide in the 80s after her role in “La Boum – The Party”. A film about teenage love. H. wasn’t even born at the time but today he is ready to do everything to make A. happy. Even contesting the judge’s decision that has obliged him to spend weekends with a foster family and to keep on with his studies in a boarding school. “They blame”- he arrogantly says on the pages of the French newspaper Le Parisien – “the fact that I can help her dressing up, eating, brushing her teeth and so on. She needs me and I am very happy with her”.

A. doesn’t want to stay still either and she doesn’t want to lose her lover, so she appealed against the tribunal’s sentence for child abduction. The woman, in order to stay close to the boy, has divorced from her husband and, in October 2008, relocated to Brest, to a small flat that has become their love nest, after H. had been thrown out of his home by his parents, because his father couldn’t stand the idea of a son sharing his life with an older woman, especially a handicapped one.

A. was born without her legs and with a missing arm because of an anti-nausea medicine that her mother would take during the pregnancy. “If I had been normal” – the woman, who has never hidden her handicap to the boy, says – “nobody would have said a word. People might think we are mad because our society is based on appearance. I don’t care about appearance at all”.

The juvenile court has recognized the precocious maturity of the boy, who will turn 17 in July: he is 1.80 m tall, with clear secure voice and dreams of becoming an architect.

In the end the remarkable difference in terms of age has prevailed, accommodating the allegations of the attorney general, who talks about an “seriously odd situation” and requesting the court to forbid them seeing each other again: “H. must grow up” he said.

“This is unfair”, says H. and A.’s lawyer, who claims that it is not the couple that has to undergo the trial but moral common sense: “it is just a love above the ordinary”.

A love that H. had to admit when, during the spring in 2008, he went on a school trip to Spain: “I couldn’t contact her on the internet, I missed her a lot and I realized I couldn’t stay without her: I was and I am in love!”.

So H. and A. spent summer 2008 together: they went on holiday together, with the full consent of both his parents and today, H.’s mother says: “I have spent a few days with them and I am sure they do have a serious love relationship, based on mutual respect and loyalty”.

The process will occur in Rennes before the end of 2010 and, thanks to A.’s appeal to the court, the sentence cannot be applied. Before the end of this story, H. and A. will keep on being together.