Underage rape probe opened into French author Matzneff
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 23, 2024


Underage rape probe opened into French author Matzneff
This file photo taken on July 12, 1990, shows French writer Gabriel Matzneff posing in the garden of the "House of Writers" (Maison des Ecrivains) in Paris, as they attend the first anniversary of the Chinese House of Democracy (Maison Chinoise de la Democratie). The new head of the Juillard publishing house Vanessa Springora releases an autobiographical book on January 2, 2020, entitled "Le Consentement" (The Consent), in which she describes being seduced at 14-years-old by the nearly 50-year-old writer, whom she calls G., in the mid-1980s. Pierre GUILLAUD / AFP.

by Eleonore Dermy



PARIS (AFP).- Paris prosecutors on Friday opened a rape investigation into the author Gabriel Matzneff, a day after the publication of a book detailing his sexual relationship with a girl of 14 over three decades ago.

The case has attracted huge interest in France, which is only now beginning to scrutinise attitudes after decades of what is seen by some as an overly permissive attitude towards sexual exploitation of women and paedophilia.

The probe was launched after an examination of the book "Consent", published on Thursday, where author Vanessa Springora describes a sexual relationship she had with Matzneff in the mid-1980s when he was 36 years her senior, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement.

Heitz said the inquiry would focus on "rapes committed against a minor" aged under 15.

In "Consent", Springora, 47, now a leading publisher, describes how she was seduced at the age of 14 by Matzneff and how this left lasting scars.

Matzneff, an essay writer long admired by some in French literary circles, never made any secret of his preference for sex with adolescent girls and boys.

In the mid-1970s, he published a notorious essay called "Les Moins de Seize Ans" ("Those Less than 16").

'All other victims'
Springora had indicated she did not intend to bring a criminal complaint against Matzneff. But the Paris prosecutors used their power to open an investigation of their own accord.

Heitz said that beyond the events described by Springora, the investigation "will work to identify all other eventual victims who could have been subjected to crimes of the same nature in France or abroad".

In France it is against the law to have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 15.

It is possible that investigations into Springora's evidence could be restricted by the statute of limitations, which in 2018 was extended to 30 from 20 years for this kind of crime but is not retroactive.

The book comes in the age of #MeToo as France wrestles with a series of accusations by women who say they were exploited by men who often held positions of power.

In one of the most prominent recent cases, French actress Adele Haenel accused film director Christophe Ruggia of constantly harassing her from the age of 12 to 15. She has since filed a complaint against him.

And the controversy has intensified around French-Polish film director Roman Polanski, a fugitive from US justice since 1978 when he admitted to statutory rape of a 13 year-old, after he brought out his new film "An Officer and a Spy".

'Not what we experienced'
Matzneff has denied any wrongdoing and in a lengthy statement sent to the L'Express magazine claimed that there had been an "exceptional love" between him and Springora, and that he did not "deserve the ugly portrait" that had been painted of him.

"No, this is not me, this is not what we experienced together and you know it," said the writer, now 83, denouncing a book that he says tries to portray him as "a pervert, a manipulator and a predator".

In 2013, Matzneff was awarded the Renaudot prize for his essays on international affairs and philosophy, an award one member of the jury has now conceded was a mistake.

"It is clear that he would not have got the prize for one of his intimate journals," jury member Frederic Beigbeder told the Parisien daily. "This prize was a blunder."

In the book Springora writes: "Aged 14, you are not supposed to have a 50-year-old man waiting for you when you leave school, you are not supposed to live in a hotel with him, or find yourself in his bed with his penis in your mouth when you should be having a snack."

Ahead of the book's publication, French ministers rounded on Matzneff, with Culture Minister Franck Riester saying "having a literary aura is not a guarantee of impunity."


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

January 4, 2020

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart marks the 250th anniversary of Tiepolo's death with exhibition

In the swim of digital images, there's nothing boring about sculpture

The Met receives promised gift of over 700 extraordinary photographs from the William L. Schaeffer Collection

Rachel Feinstein unveils the darker side of fantasyland

Louvre's record numbers fall as museum tries to limit visitors

Richard Artschwager retrospective on view at Mart Rovereto

Istanbul Jews fight to save their ancestral tongue

Museums & galleries acquire 14-18 NOW commissioned works by Yinka Shonibare and John Akomfrah

Vaughan Oliver, 62, dies; His designs gave Indie Rock 'physical dimension'

Animation art sale tops $2.9 million, becomes largest of all time at Heritage Auctions

Copenhagen Contemporary exhibits works by the Danish-Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour

Season of photography at the National Museum Cardiff

Life beneath an urban canopy

Underage rape probe opened into French author Matzneff

German designer Zobel quits fashion label Courreges

Ballet dancers down tutus in longest strike ever at Paris Opera

Photographer John Offenbach explores the nature of what it means to identify as Jewish today

Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 announces its curatorial team and theme

Kimsooja installs her works at landmarks throughout the City of Poitiers

Curtain goes down on New York Musical Festival

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts appoints Interim Director Jennifer Calienes

'Little Women' director 'sad' at awards snub of female filmmakers




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Attorneys
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful