May 13, 2022

Jean-Jacques Bourdin temporarily dismissed from RMC and BFMTV

MEDIA – “Jean-Jacques Bourdin, at the request of management, is temporarily withdrawing from the antennas of BFMTV and RMC.” Here is how the press release published this Sunday, January 23 by the Altice group begins about its star journalist, under investigation for attempted sexual assault.

As revealed The Parisian on January 15, the political interviewer of the BFMTV-RMC morning show is actually accused of having sought to kiss a colleague against her will in 2013, in Corsica. The then 64-year-old host allegedly joined the 25-year-old journalist in a swimming pool before grabbing her by the neck and shouting “I always get what I want” after she refused his advances.

An investigation was entrusted by the Paris prosecutor’s office to the 16th arrondissement police station. It could lead to the finding that the facts are time-barred, since the time limit in this regard is six years.

The group wants to preserve its image

At first, after the revelations of our colleagues, Marc-Olivier Fogiel, general manager of BFMTV, had maintained his confidence in Jean-Jacques Bourdin. ”At this stage, there is no reason for us to change things on the air. We must not give in to any pressure”, he assured then.

But in recent days, the controversy had been invited to the antenna. Tuesday, January 18, for the premiere of the journalist’s new political program, the LR presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse took advantage of the platform offered to her to launch into a diatribe on sexual violence, promising in particular the end of the impunity. She had notably underlined the fact that she had “clearly asked herself the question” of her participation in the program in view of the accusations weighing on the journalist.

And the question was inevitably invited in the speech of the other political figures supposed to come on the set of BFMTV and RMC, Yannick Jadot for example canceling his passage. Result: in its press release this Sunday, the group specifies that its “decision was taken not to harm the daily operation” of the two antennas. “This temporary withdrawal will avoid political and media manipulation of this affair.”

Replaced by Apolline de Malherbe and Bruce Toussaint

The statement, which recalls that an internal investigation is underway into the facts and that the journalist is presumed innocent, adds that Jean-Jacques Bourdin will be replaced by Apolline de Malherbe for his morning interview and by Bruce Toussaint for “La France dans Les Yeux”, his major political program launched last week.

In October 2020, then just landed on LCI haloed with the pedigree of a flagship journalist for Swiss television, Darius Rochebin had in the same way been withdrawn from the antenna after a journalistic investigation evoking years of inappropriate behavior. Mentioned in particular were “inappropriate gestures, salacious remarks and the use of false identities on social networks”.

After six months away from the spotlight, he was finally reinstated in April 2021, a Swiss judicial investigation having “excluded him”. In the official report, one could read that “the investigation does not make it possible to conclude with acts relating to harassment or criminal offence”.

See also on the HuffPost: Bourdin confirms his departure from the morning of RMC live on the air