Jacqueline Laurent-Auger, teacher fired decades after erotic film roles, may be rehired
Now 73, Laurent-Auger says she needs time to respond to whatever Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf is offering
A teacher fired from a Montreal school nearly 50 years after her short-lived erotic film career began is weighing her options after being offered a new job by the same school that fired her.
Jacqueline Laurent-Auger taught theatre at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, a private high school and post-secondary institution in Côte-des-Neiges, until July, when she was informed her contract would not be renewed.
As a young French actor in her 20s, she appeared in several erotic films in the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Intimate Diary of a Nymphomaniac.
Laurent-Auger, now 73, went on to act in a variety of other films, and taught at the college for 15 years without incident.
But when students found an online biography of her containing links to video excerpts of her erotic film performances, the college decided Laurent-Auger posed too much of a distraction.
The college's administration, in Laurent-Auger's opinion, "brutally" showed her the door.
She said the college had an opportunity to minimize the fallout from the discovery of her erotic film work, but instead chose to validate the students' titillation by firing her.
Besides, she said, she appeared in a great number of other, non-erotic roles as her career grew.
"I did so many wonderful things afterwards. It was a little, little, little part of my career, for Pete's sake!" she told CBC's As It Happens.
School asks Laurent-Auger to come back
Now, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf's administration says it is ready to rehire Laurent-Auger.
The school’s human resources director, Michel Lafrance, in a letter dated Oct. 21, wrote that the "whole issue could have been handled differently," and it was necessary to correct the college’s misstep.
Laurent-Auger told CBC Homerun host Sue Smith on Tuesday that she hasn't yet made a decision about whether she'll return to the college.
The school's letter also mentioned that Laurent-Auger's going public with her firing provoked adverse reactions within the school and in public opinion.
"It makes me laugh. If I hadn’t moved on and said something, of course they wouldn’t be right now offering me something," Laurent-Auger said.
Laurent-Auger said she was particularly touched by former students who came out of the woodwork to defend her and condemn the college's actions.
She added that she wasn't sure, exactly, what the school was offering her. She said she needed some time to think about it — and some time to talk to her lawyer — before speaking to the school next week.
Lafrance from the college said the whole incident has made the college reflect on sexuality, digital platforms and social media in an educational setting.