A Ukrainian model claims she has filed a legal complaint against Cannes Film Festival organizers after being allegedly manhandled by a security guard on the red carpet.

Sawa Pontyjska was among numerous attendees seen being challenged by the same steward at the elite French event.
Singer Kelly Rowland also filed a complaint, and video of the guard with South Korean actress Yoona and Dominican actress Massiel Taveras went viral.

Pontyjska, a FashionTV presenter, told BBC News that she was “brutally” restrained as she attempted to enter the cinema with a valid ticket for Marcello Mio’s premiere.

On Wednesday, she shared photos of documentation accusing the event of “physical assault and psychological damage”. She claims her reputation has also been affected and is demanding 100,000 euros (£85,000) in damages.

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The festival organizers have not replied to calls for comment.

A video of the incident, which occurred on May 21, has received over 16 million views on TikTok.

It shows Pontyjska at the top of the steps to the Palais des Festivals, seemingly being led in by a female guard, who then wraps both arms around her.

The duo wrestled briefly, and Pontyjska nearly fell to the ground before attempting to return down the steps, where she was stopped by additional security guards and escorted inside.

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Pontyjska told BBC News that she had been put in a “bear hug” and was afraid.

The same guard was chastised for how she ushered in Yoona.
“I was attempting to escape from this lock. “I went down and started running away on the stairs because that was the way back [out],” she explained.
“She tried to shove me inside so no one could see what she was doing to me. “Then she kicked me out the back door.”

Pontyjska claimed she did nothing wrong and had attempted to contact the organisers to request an apology but had received no answer.

According to her legal complaint, she was “violently challenged by one of a group of security guards” in front of “thousands of people”.
She stated that the use of physical force created “acute pain” as well as “psychological trauma”.

Massiel Taveras, wearing a dress with a long train bearing the face of Jesus, was also engaged in an argument on the red carpet.
Throughout the two-week festival, the nameless guard made headlines, including a tense incident when she attempted to guide Rowland up the stairs at the same premiere.

The former Destiny’s Child singer later told the Associated Press that “the woman knows what happened.” I understand what happened. I have boundaries, and I adhere to them.”

She went on: “There were other women that visited that carpet who did not look like me, and they were not reprimanded, pushed, or told to leave. I held firm, and she felt compelled to do the same.

Taveras seemed to push the guard after being rushed up the red carpet, and Yoona’s supporters accused the same security guard of being pushy as she escorted the South Korean singer inside.

Cannes is well-known for its rigorous red carpet rules.
Following last week’s activities, Chris Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter wrote that most participants are “always rushed down the carpet and up the stairs”.

He continued: “For the most part, the job of security is to keep the flow of traffic moving and get everyone in their seats by the scheduled start time.”

He said that actors from the films being debuted, jury members, celebrities representing the festival’s sponsors, other significant A-listers, and cherished festival veterans are given more leeway.