Benjamin Griveaux

French paparazzi boss Michèle Marchand faces investigation in police celebrity 'leaks' case

France— Investigation

Michèle 'Mimi' Marchand, a powerful figure in the French gossip press and an influential PR fixer to politicians, has already been placed under investigation over the retraction of evidence by businessman Ziad Takieddine, a key witness in the probe into Libyan funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign. Now Marchand, 74, the boss of paparazzi agency Bestimage, has been placed under investigation in relation to a second case, involving allegations of police leaks. It concerns the publication of photos of the arrest of a man over a sex tape affair that ended the hopes of former government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux of becoming mayor of Paris for Emmanuel Macron's party. Marchand, who denies any wrongdoing, is also being investigated for alleged “extortion” against well-known French television presenter Karine Le Marchand. Fabrice Arfi and Antton Rouget report.

Duo in French sex tape scandal put under formal investigation

France— Link

Pyotr Pavlensky and Alexandra de Taddeo are suspected of publishing a racy video alleged to be of former Paris mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux.

Health minister takes over Paris mayoral bid amid sex video scandal

France— Link

French health minister Agnès Buzyn, who has been leading the national response to the coronavirus epidemic, stepped down on Sunday to become President Macron's LREM party candidate for mayor of Paris after former government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, originally appointed for the bid, quit on Friday over revelations of a sex video he purportedly features in. 

Russian refugee and companion held over Macron ally sex-tape sting

International— Link

Petr Pavlensky, a dissident Russian activist granted asylum in France in 2017, and an unnamed woman were being questioned in police custody this weekend as part of an investigation into a complaint for violation of personal privacy after explicit sexual images and texts were posted on the internet forcing President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party candidate in Paris mayoral elections to stand down on Friday. 

Macron ally quits Paris mayoral bid over sex videos

France

Benjamin Griveaux, 42, the candidate for mayor of Paris chosen by President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party, stood down from the race on Friday after the online publication by a controversial Russian artist living in asylum in France of sexually explicit videos featuring the former government spokesman. Griveaux’s withdrawal is a major blow for the French president’s ruling party, already struggling in opinion surveys ahead of nationwide municipal elections in March.

Mathematician MP defies Macron to stand as Paris mayor candidate

France— Link

With his long hair, bowties and ornate spider brooches, top mathematician Cédric Villani quickly became a popular politician as an MP in 2017.

'Yellow vests': government violence is stoking violence in the country

France— Opinion

On Monday January 7th the French prime minster Édouard Philippe announced plans to boost the array of security powers at the state's disposal with, in particular, a new law against rioters and undeclared demonstrations, plus preventative targeting of protestors presumed to be violent. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel points out that the prime minister did not utter a word about police violence, demonstrating that in making this repressive decision the government has turned its back on the sometimes vague democratic demands made by the 'yellow vest' protestors.

Macron seeks to balance Left and Right with new government

France— Analysis

Following the recent Parliamentary elections President Emmanuel Macron has formed a new government under the same prime minister Édouard Philippe. However, what was supposed to be a minor technical change to the government has become rather larger in scale after the departure of four ministers in response to potential scandals. The result is a government that gives us a glimpse of how the new centrist president intends to balance his administration between the Left and the Right of the political spectrum. Stéphane Alliès, Christophe Gueugneau, Mathieu Magnaudeix and Mathilde Mathieu report.