Iranian actress Leila Hatami apologises after cheek kiss

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 6:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 6:03am

Iranian film star Leila Hatami has apologised for kissing the cheek of the president of the Cannes Film Festival, after activists called for her flogging, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Hatami, 41, starred in the 2012 Oscar-winning film A Separation and was a Cannes jury member this year.

She wrote, in a letter addressed to Iran's cinema organisation, that she had told Cannes officials she would not be able to shake hands with or embrace any men at the event.

Gilles Jacob, 83, the festival 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 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," the actress wrote, according to Irna.