French prosecutors drop rape inquiry against top TV presenter

Investigators opened an inquiry four months ago, after writer Florence Porcel wrote of her 'destruction' by a 'powerful man' in an autobiographical novel.

Published: 25th June 2021 04:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2021 04:07 PM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)


NANTERRE: One of France's most prominent TV journalists will not face charges over claims he raped or sexually assaulted several women at the height of his career, after prosecutors said Friday they were dropping their inquiry.

The allegations against prime-time news presenter Patrick Poivre d'Arvor emerged as France confronts a wave of sex abuse claims involving prominent media, literary and political figures.

Investigators opened an inquiry four months ago, after writer Florence Porcel wrote of her "destruction" by a "powerful man" in an autobiographical novel.

She later filed a complaint against Poivre d'Arvor, now 73, saying he had forced her to have non-consensual sex in 2004 and 2009.

That prompted 22 other women to come forward with abuse claims, and seven additional complaints for either rape or assault were filed.

But most of the alleged incidents occurred beyond French statutes of limitation or lacked sufficient evidence to pursue a trial, state prosecutor Catherine Denis in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said in a statement.

During questioning, Poivre d'Arvor "either denied the existence of the facts alleged by these 23 women, or admitted them but denied any use of coercion", the prosecutor's office said. 

He also filed a libel lawsuit against Porcel accusing her of making "absurd and false" claims to promote her book.

But prosecutors said Friday that his claim had also been dropped, underscoring "the absence of proof of any intention of malice" by the writer.


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