Austrian actor Florian Teichtmeister, who stars alongside Vicky Krieps in Marie Kreutzer’s Oscar contender Corsage, has been charged with possession of child pornography.
A court spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that authorities found some 58,000 digital images featuring pornographic depictions of minors, some as young as 14, in Teichtmeister’s possession. His trial is set to begin Feb. 8. He faces up to two years in prison.
Teichtmeister intends to plead guilty and assume full responsibility, his lawyer Michael Rami said in a statement to Germany’s dpa news agency. “He confessed throughout the investigation and always cooperated with the authorities,” Rami said.
Teichtmeister’s lawyer argued that his client did not commit any criminal acts directly against the people depicted in the pornographic images, calling his offense a “purely digital crime.”
In Corsage, Teichtmeister plays Emperor Franz Joseph, the husband to lead Vicky Krieps’ Empress Elisabeth. The film is a fictional, feminist revisionist account of the 19th century monarch and her portrayal in such films as Sissi (1955) starring Romy Schneider.
The period drama premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes last year and is Austria’s official entry for the 2023 best international feature Oscar. Corsage, which received a limited domestic release via IFC Films in late December, made the 15-film international Oscar shortlist.
Vienna’s Burgtheater on Friday announced it terminated its contract with Teichtmeister, one of the theater’s ensemble members, after learning “with great horror” of the investigation from the media.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the producers of Corsage and IFC Films for comment on Teichtmeister’s arrest.
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