In tears and distress and clutching her son close to her body, this is the moment after Melissa George left the emergency ward of a Paris hospital where medical staff had formally documented her injuries from an alleged domestic violence assault.
The Australian actress checked into the Cochin Hospital in central Paris hours after she made a desperate 3am visit to her local police station to report she had been allegedly physically and verbally abused by her long-term partner Jean-David Blanc.
Blanc, the father of George's two children, was last night expected to front a court in Paris to be questioned by prosecutors over the alleged domestic abuse, listed in court as "marital violence". He attended a police station yesterday at 9am to be interviewed "under caution" at length by detectives before at 6pm being remanded in custody to appear at the Palais de Justice.
According to reports from France, the 40-year-old George had been seen on the street in a dizzy and shocked state after an incident at the family's apartment in the up-market 8th District of Paris.
She rang police before attending a nearby station where she formally reported feeling nauseous, faint and in pain with swelling and light bruising to her face from what she said was the result of a domestic assault.
The star, from TV dramas including Grey's Anatomy, Alias, The Slap and US hospital drama Heartbeat, reportedly told police her 48-year-old partner of five years, struck out with "violent blows" during a moment of severe "stress".
The Parquet de Police declined to comment about the case.
"For now it is a domestic affair and we will not be communicating anything," a spokesman told News Corp Australia yesterday.
It is understood Blanc, who was cleared of having been under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged incident, has given police a different version of events of what occurred on the September 6 night and early next morning, to that of his partner and it will be up to the courts to determine whether her complaint proceeds to his formal charging.
French media have made the point there have been no prior reports of domestic violence issues with the pair.
She said the stress stemmed from his work and that he had been recently showing signs of depression. She formally filed a complaint against Blanc, the founder of successful French cinema promoting and distribution group AlloCine.
A detective escorted her to the hospital due to her faint state after which she then, in the company of her mother-in-law, took her two-year-old son Raphael to school in her classic sports car.
Blanc and George met at a British film awards after-party in 2011 and started dating in 2012. She was previously married to Chilean film director Caludio Dabed whom she divorced in 2011.
At the recent Cannes Film Festival in May the actress, who first hit stardom in Home and Away and a role in US movies Dark City and Mulholland Drive, hinted to media she and Blanc may well get married soon and gushed as she spoke of their relationship and the birth of their second son Solal in November last year.
The actress moved to the US to pursue her career in the late 1990s and is a dual Australian-US citizen but has lived in Paris for several years.
Social media including her Instagram account has been ablaze with support for the actress with the story reported widely particularly on European celebrity websites including the respected Paris Match.
Mainstream media in France have given the incident benign coverage since the country has some of the toughest privacy laws in the world with details of someone's private life and image use without consent legally actionable.
Both President Francoise Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy have both successfully claimed privacy over their personal dalliances despite their high profiles; in President Hollande's case, he threatened to sue after his affair with actress Julie Gayet was made public.
Ms George and her spokespeople were unavailable for comment and not returning calls yesterday.
If you're in danger NOW (NZ):
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz