The French first lady plans to sue over fake news that she was born male.
Brigitte Macron has been at the centre of a bizarre transphobic theory being circulated by followers of a far-right website who claim the president’s wife was actually born under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux.
The male name has trended on social media since the rumour first circulated in September.
French newspaper Le Monde reported the rumour was being perpetuated by “militant anti-Macron” groups including ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters, QAnon supporters and anti-vaxxers.
French media have traced the story to an article written on a far-right journal by a woman named Natacha Rey.
The conspiracy then found a wider audience after being discussed in a YouTube broadcast shared by conspiracy theorists.
Mrs Macron, who has three children with her former husband, married Emmanuel Macron in 2007.
The now 68-year-old had first met the future president in 1993 when he was a teenager and she was a 40-year-old teacher at La Providence High School.
A lawyer for the First Lady confirmed that she is taking legal action.
“She has decided to initiate proceedings, it is in progress,” lawyer Jean Ennochi told AFP news agency.