06/03/2008 at 02:15 PM EDT
Former French screen siren Brigitte Bardot was fined nearly $25,000 on Tuesday after being convicted of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying her country.
The court in Paris also ordered Bardot, 73, to pay $1,555 in damages to a leading French anti-racism group known as MRAP, the Associated Press reports.
Bardot, an ardent animal-rights activist, had written a letter in December 2006 to the then-Interior Minister (and now, President) Nicolas Sarkozy in which she criticized the Muslim festival of Aid el-Kebir, which reportedly is celebrated by slaughtering sheep. In the letter, she wrote that France is "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts."
Bardot's attorney, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, said he would discuss a possible appeal with the star, who was once considered France's answer to Marilyn Monroe.
– Stephen M. Silverman
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