2004 St Tropez TV Festival - Evening Award - Credit: Christian Alminana/FilmMagic

2004 St Tropez TV Festival - Evening Award - Credit: Christian Alminana/FilmMagic

Brigitte Bardot was treated by emergency services on Wednesday at her home in Saint-Tropez after she began to experience breathing problems. The French actress’ husband, Bernard d’Ormale, confirmed the news to local outlet Val-Matin.

“It was around 9 a.m. when Brigitte had trouble breathing,” d’Ormale told the outlet, speaking in French. “It was harder than usual, but she didn’t lose consciousness. Let’s call it a moment of respiratory distraction. The firefighters arrived, gave her oxygen to breathe, and stayed for a moment to watch her.”

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D’Ormale blamed the incident on the current heatwave, which has swept through much of Europe in recent weeks. While he confirmed the couple has air conditioning in their house, he said it was “not very strong.”

“Like all people of a certain age, she can no longer bear the heat,” he explained. “It happens at 88; she must not make unnecessary efforts. Her pulse is fine, her heart too, and her blood pressure is good, but things remain fragile.”

Bardot is known as an icon of French cinema. She starred in 47 films before quitting the industry in 1973. She has since focused on her work with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which is dedicated to animal protection. The actress has been married several times throughout her life; she and d’Ormale tied the knot in 1992.

In recent years, Bardot has been something of a controversial figure. She has been accused of making racist comments several times and has been fined six times by French courts for “inciting racial hatred” with her writing. Bardot is also a close friend of Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front party, who was convicted of anti-Semitism, racism, and Holocaust denial in France. His daughter, far-right politician Marine Le Pen, now runs the party. Thanks to these associations, some in France have accused Bardot of tarnishing her legacy.

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