January 23, 2022

3 women accuse the ex-presenter of sexual violence in new testimonies

One of the three women has already filed a complaint for sexual assault, another for rape, although the facts are time barred.

Three new testimonials. After publication in Release of eight testimonies against the former presenter of TF1 Patrick Poivre-d’Arvor, the daily published this Tuesday evening three new testimonies of women accusing the journalist of acts of sexual assault or even of rape.

Of these three women, two have filed a complaint, as confirmed by BFMTV last week. The latter has so far not wished to take this step.

PPDA qualified as “predator”

On a daily basis, the novelist Amandine Cornette de Saint Cyr – who has not lodged a complaint – explains having met PPDA for the first time in May 2007 during her literary program Night flight, for the publication of one of his books. She evokes at that time “intrusive questions asked following the show”. The novelist says she then met the presenter again at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. He asks her again about his private life, then offers to provide him with an accreditation to climb the stairs, which she accepts.

Amandine Cornette de Saint Cyr must join the journalist at her hotel before departure, and claiming delays, he suggests that she go up to her room. “I felt cornered and taken aback”, she tells Release. She goes up to join him, and he would have received her naked in a bathrobe. Sex follows, according to his testimony.

She does not use the word “rape”, but still describes the sexual relationship “unexpected” and “unwanted”. As a reminder, article 222-23 penal code describes rape as any sexual penetration committed “by violence, coercion, threat or surprise”.

“I was abused. There was never any question of me going up to this room. It was not the place of our meeting. I was taken aback,” she said, recounting that the man then ignored her all evening. “I was ashamed. I was a 33-year-old, single, recently separated. It was too much for me. This relationship should have been rewarding and fun and I was belittled and humiliated.”

She says she saw Patrick Poivre d’Arvor again in 2009 in Corsica, at the latter’s invitation, and the same year at his home in Neuilly. According to her explanations, it was for her to fix the situation between them, “to forget the calamitous meeting in Cannes”. But today she qualifies him as a “muzzle who abuses his position” and a “predator”.

One complaint for rape, another for sexual assault

Laure Eude accuses PPDA of having raped her in a room during the Cannes film festival in 1985 when she was 23 years old. She was then working on an internship at the press office of the Cannes Film Festival, and tells the daily to have exchanged with the presenter before a drink was agreed to talk about a future internship on television, something they had mentioned together previously. Appointment would have been made at the bar of the Martinez hotel, but upon arriving, he would have explained to her that he had to make a detour to his room.

There, he closes the room with a double turn, and “takes out his penis”, according to the testimony. She explains that she is not there for that, but to talk about an internship. There is all the same a sexual relation, not consented according to Laure Eude, who declares that during the act, “my body is there, and I am elsewhere”. She will speak about it to a friend, and to the head of the press office of the festival, who will not react. She will also speak to her parents about it, but will not file a complaint, discouraged because she is then told that the presenter is “very protected”.

“He could be my father”

The third woman interviewed by Release wanted to remain anonymous, and filed a complaint for sexual assault. She accuses PPDA of having kissed her by force in a Club Med in Valmorel, in Savoie, in 2013, when she was 23 years old. The host allegedly asked her if she had any attraction for him, to which she explained that she replied “that he could be my father”.

As they both get on the elevator, he would have kissed her by “surprise”, before she pushes him away and pretends to have to join friends.

Contacted by Release and by AFP on these various facts, the lawyer of the presenter Jacqueline Laffont did not respond to the requests. Regarding the other accusations of sexual assault to which he is the subject, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor admitted some of the sexual relations, declaring, however, that they were consented. He remains presumed innocent.

These last two complaints denounce prescribed facts. These women “file a complaint in solidarity with the others” having testified against the former presenter “so as not to let it be said that they are ‘liars'”, explained their lawyer Laure Heinich to AFP, specifying that the two news accusers did not know each other. At the time, they had not lodged a complaint “because of the stature of the aggressor whom they imagined protected”, she continues.

As a reminder, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor was accused in February of rape by the writer Florence Porcel, who had lodged a complaint. She accuses him of having forced him to have sex in 2004 and fellatio in 2009. Since then, more than twenty women have testified against the former presenter, who disputes all the accusations.

After Florence Porcel’s complaint in February, a four-month preliminary investigation was conducted by the Nanterre prosecutor’s office, during which twenty-three women testified, nine of whom chose to file a complaint for rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment . At the end of June, this preliminary investigation was dismissed by the prosecution, the majority of the charges being time-barred.

But in November, Florence Porcel became a civil party in order to bring about a referral to a judge to re-investigate the facts of which she accuses Patrick Poivre d’Arvor. These, not prescribed, had been dismissed for “insufficient evidence”. This procedure almost always leads to the opening of a new investigation entrusted to an examining magistrate, subject to the payment of a deposit.

Salome Vincendon BFMTV reporter