An evening at the opera in 2010, accusations in full wave "#MeToo" and a trial for defamation: at a sharp hearing on Monday at the Paris court, the writer Ariane Fornia reiterated her accusations of aggression against former socialist minister Pierre Joxe, who came to denounce "insults" and "slanders".
On one side of the courtroom, Ariane Fornia, 30, aka Alexandra Besson, alongside her father, former Sarkozy minister Eric Besson. On the other, Pierre Joxe, 84, tenor of the Mitterrand, former Minister of the Interior and Defense became a lawyer.
Everyone has come to defend his truth with force. "Never in my life, nor there, nor elsewhere, I did not conduct myself as she tells it," said Pierre Joxe. "I persist and sign, what I said is the exact truth and I'm sure Mr. Joxe knows it very well," retorts the young woman.
In October 2017, in the midst of the outbreak of the #MeToo wave, Ariane Fornia accused the ex-first president of the Court of Accounts of having assaulted her during a performance at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in March 2010, in repeatedly putting his hand on the thigh and the back "to (his) crotch". Prescribed facts.
In a blog post, she described a "former minister of Mitterrand" before accusing Pierre Joxe in L'Express.
He had summoned her for defamation in early 2018, asking for a symbolic euro for damages, 5,000 euros for legal fees, the deletion of the controversial remarks from the blog and the publication of judicial communiqués.
At the bar, Pierre Joxe, "even more indignant than two years ago", regrets that the blog "perpetuates shamelessly slanders and insults to all the winds".
He insists on inconsistencies in the story of Ariane Fornia, who had mentioned the arrival of his father to intermission. But the show, "The Gold of the Rhine", does not include.
Ariane Fornia agreed that she was "wrong": there was no intermission and her father was unable to attend the opera. On the other hand, the Opera confirmed that the seats of the Joxe and Besson were well side by side on the balcony of honor.
Pierre Joxe's lawyer, Jean-Yves Dupeux, insists on these "untruths" to denounce "a web of lies".
- "Presumption of truth" -
So dwell on "some inconsistencies of detail", "it is the defense of rapist, sexual aggressor!" gets carried away Jean-Marc Fedida, the writer's lawyer.
Ariane Fornia does not dispute that these remarks are defamatory, that is to say that they undermine the honor and the consideration of Pierre Joxe. But she invokes her "good faith" to ask the court to dismiss Mr. Joxe.
Her lawyer produces pieces to prove that she had told these facts to relatives in 2010 or 2011.
His father Eric Besson tells the bar that she had told him the same evening to have been assaulted. He had advised her to file a complaint, which she had refused because of the tense political context in which the Minister of Immigration was operating.
She also produced the recent testimony of a former home-based employee of Pierre Joxe who accuses him of sexual assault and harassment in 2018 and whose complaint led to the opening of an investigation Wednesday, as well as exchanges of information. anonymized e-mails with two other women, one of whom, according to Camp Besson, was attacked by Pierre Joxe in 1990.
At the helm, Ariane Fornia is pressed by questions from the president, who asks her why she did not leave the show. Because of the "extremely solemn framework", she answers.
It also says the need to testify, the "violence" to "be treated as guilty", and calls to respect "a presumption of truth" "for a woman who comes to testify to face, who takes this risk": "On only come if we told the truth. "
Decision on January 22nd.
© 2019 AFP