French journalist Sandra Muller gives a press conference, in Paris, Sept. 25, 2019.
French journalist Sandra Muller gives a press conference, in Paris, Sept. 25, 2019.

The woman who launched France's #MeToo movement against sexual harassment has been ordered to pay damages to the man she accused of harassment.

A Paris court on Wednesday ruled that journalist Sandra Muller must pay TV executive Eric Brion $22,000 for defaming him.

In 2017, at the height of the global push against sexual harassment, Muller tweeted her accusation using the hashtag #balancetonporc, which roughly translates to "squeal on your pig."

Brion's lawyers had argued that his inappropriate comments to Muller were an attempt at flirting during a party, not harassment and that he had apologized for them.

The court on Wednesday also ordered Muller to delete her tweet and replace it with the statement of the court.

Muller said the court's decision sends a message to victims: "Be quiet.”  She said she will appeal the ruling.

Muller's lawyer said the decision also sends a message to men in France.  "If they only do it one time, it will be excused by the court,'' Francis Szpiner said.

Brion hailed the ruling on Twitter as a "victory of true justice.’’