French police interrogate disgraced writer over rape allegations – Expat Guide to France

French writer Gabriel Matzneff, accused of raping underage girls when he was one of Paris’s most acclaimed literary figures, was questioned by police on Wednesday as part of an investigation opened after the publication of an explosive book, judicial sources said.

Matzneff, now 86, had made no secret of his preference for pedophilia before Vanessa Springora, now a prominent publisher, described being groomed by him at the age of 14 in an expose believed to be a turning point in the French #MeToo movement denouncing sexual abuse by men. .

The revelations prompted two other women to come forward to say they too had been abused by him as teenagers.

Matzneff’s lawyer declined to comment on the interrogation, which was confirmed by the Paris prosecutor’s office, which opened its investigation the day after the publication of Springora’s “Consent” book in early 2020.

But sources familiar with the investigation told AFP that due to statute of limitations it is likely to be closed without charge, making it unlikely that Matzneff will stand trial.

Over the years, he has spoken extensively on TV shows and written about his predilection for teenagers. In the mid-1970s, he published a notorious essay titled “The Under Sixteen”.

But Springora was the first person to record to describe her experiences with him.

The scandal was one of the turning points of the #MeToo movement in France, after decades of people turning a blind eye to the columnist’s behavior despite his candor about his private life.

Shortly after Springora’s exposure, French publishers began pulling his books from stores, and he was deprived of thousands of euros in state writers’ aid as well as a subsidized apartment on the riverbank. chic left of the capital.

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