New Fillon claim: was key campaign aide paid by billionaire for 'fake work'?


Right-wing François Fillon's presidential campaign has been thrown into turmoil after claims that his wife Penelope was paid €500,000  as his parliamentary assistant despite doubts she ever performed that role. It is also claimed that Penelope Fillon received €100,000 from a magazine owned by a billionaire ally of former prime minister Fillon, even though she appears to have done little work for it. The couple have been questioned by investigators, while new claims emerge that the family may have pocketed close to a million euros in all. Now Mediapart can reveal that a key advisor on Fillon's election campaign was given a job at a charitable foundation run by the same billionaire, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, at the time she began working for the presidential candidate. Yet there is no public trace of the advisor's work at the foundation. Antton Rouget investigates a case that will raise yet more questions surrounding the finances of the frontrunner to be the next French president.

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A key aide to François Fillon was employed at a billionaire's charitable foundation while also working for the right-wing presidential candidate, Mediapart can reveal. Alexia Demirdjian, who has been a major figure in Fillon's digital strategy since the spring of 2015, was hired as a project manager by the Fondation Culture et Diversité in March of the very same year. But Alexia Demirdjian left no public trace of her work at the foundation, an organisation which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get access to art and culture, and which is part of the Fimalac group run by billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. He is the man who paid Fillon's wife Penelope €100,000 to work on his magazine Revue des Deux Mondes, for which she appears to have done little work.