"I feel like a living dead man, a walking dead man, walking along the waterfront." These are the words that Gabriel Matzneff, under investigation for rape of a minor, uses to describe his daily life in an interview published Tuesday on the website of the New York Times . The writer was interviewed by the American newspaper on the Italian Riviera, where he has taken refuge since the case broke out. The article is published while the Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, announced Tuesday at the microphone of Europe 1 that a "call to witnesses" was launched to find "victims" in the framework of the investigation opened for rapes on a minor under 15 years of age targeting him.
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"A pedophile writer, and the French elite, on the dock"
The American daily recalls that before his blacklisting, the writer, 83 years old, had been received at the Élysée in 1984 by President François Mitterrand, that he had frequented Jean-Marie Le Pen or even that he had benefited from "the generosity" of Yves Saint Laurent and his companion Pierre Bergé. The article is thus entitled "a pedophile writer, and the French elite, on the dock".
"Mr. Matzneff is not in the habit of hiding. For a long time he was celebrated because he hid nothing, precisely, neither his hunt for young girls in front of Parisian colleges, nor his sexual relations with boys of eight years in the Philippines, "writes the newspaper.
"Who are they to judge their fellow men?"
Asked by the New York Times reporter, Gabriel Matzneff said he felt "very, very alone". He gets mad at those who want to judge him. "Who are they to judge their fellow men? These associations for virtue, how do they sleep, what do they do in bed and with whom do they sleep, what are their secret and repressed desires?", Asks the writer, adding suffering from insomnia and no longer being able to write.
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An investigation had been opened by the prosecution on January 3 the day after the publication of the autobiographical novel "The Consent" in which the editor Vanessa Springora denounced her relationship under the influence of the writer Gabriel Matzneff when she was a minor, in the 1980s .
Vanessa Springora was the first to testify. The behavior of Gabriel Matzneff, described in his own books, has long been tolerated in the Parisian literary world. In 2013, he won the Renaudot essay prize.