Austrian actor Florian Teichtmeister, who recently rose to international fame for portraying Emperor Franz Joseph in the Oscar-shortlisted film Corsage, was charged with allegedly possessing child pornography, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“A court spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that authorities found some 58,000 digital images featuring pornographic depictions of minors, some as young as 14, in Teichtmeister’s possession. His trial is set to start on February 8. He faces up to two years in prison. “
The report continued, “Teichmeister intends to plead guilty and assume full responsibility, his lawyer Michael Rami said in a statement to Germany’s DPA news agency. “He confessed throughout the investigation and always cooperated with the authorities,” Rami said. Teichtmeister’s lawyer argued that his client did not commit any criminal acts directly against the people depicted in the pornographic images, calling his offense a “purely digital crime.”
The film tells the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who is semi-estranged from her indulgent husband, and begins to exhibit odd and eccentric behavior as her 40th birthday nears. The empress is renowned for her beauty and spends an obsessive amount of time measuring her weight, fasting, and overanalyzing remarks about her looks. The film received critical acclaim and held an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Regarding the controversy, the film’s director and screenwriter Marie Kreutzer said she was “saddened and angry that a feminist film… should be so sullied and damaged by the horrible actions of a single person.”
It is unknown how this news will affect the film’s Oscar run.
Stay tuned to mxdwn for more news on this developing story.