The Paris prosecutor's office announced that it had opened a rape investigation on Tuesday, targeting youtuber Léo Grasset, after a complaint filed on November 24.
The influencer with 1.2 million subscribers on his channel is also the subject of a preliminary investigation for sexual harassment.
He "formally contests the accusations" against him.
takes stock of this sordid affair which is shaking the world of YouTube influencers.
This is a case that shakes the community of YouTubers.
These influencers who share videos on the platform, each with their own little specialty.
Among them, Léo Grasset, who has more than a million subscribers to his channel, is being investigated for rape, the Paris prosecutor's office announced on Tuesday.
He is also accused of psychological and sexual violence.
The youtuber denies the accusations revealed by the investigation site Mediapart.
returns to this affair which is reminiscent of the “#MeToo” episodes which have upset many sectors, particularly cultural ones.
Who is Leo Grasset?
Léo Grasset is a 33-year-old YouTuber, followed by 1.2 million subscribers on his “DirtyBiology” YouTube channel.
Its niche: science popularization.
It covers subjects as diverse as artificial intelligence, dinosaurs or apnea.
His first video was posted in 2014 and was about the flying dragons from the
Game Of Thrones
His videos are successful since they sometimes accumulate up to more than two million views.
Where does the complaint come from?
The rape investigation was opened on Tuesday after a complaint against the influencer, said the Paris prosecutor's office, confirming information from Mediapart.
The investigations were entrusted to the 3rd DPJ (judicial police district), said the prosecution.
According to Mediapart, the complaint was filed last Thursday, November 24, by a 22-year-old journalism student, named Léa, according to the investigation site.
He is also the subject of a preliminary investigation by the Lyon prosecutor's office.
This investigation was opened following a complaint for sexual harassment, filed according to Mediapart at the end of June by Clothilde Chamussy, who hosts the YouTube channel "Passé sauvage" (127,000 subscribers).
"Four other women we have interviewed since the end of June report 'problems respecting their consent', but also 'control' – accusations of a different nature and for which none intend to file a complaint" , adds the site directed by Edwy Plenel.
In total, no less than 13 women testified to acts of sexist, psychological or sexual violence against Léo Grasset in the columns of Mediapart.
How old is the case?
Léa denounces facts dating back to the night of November 1 to 2, 2021. In the complaint consulted by Mediapart, the journalism student recounts an alcoholic evening during which Léo Grasset allegedly took advantage of the young woman's drunken state.
Taken to the youtuber's hotel room, she says she woke up "feeling fingers in [his] sex in the middle of the night" and remembers being "paralyzed".
At this time, Léo Grasset would have asked him to “relax” and would have started to penetrate her.
She remembers being “still and mute”.
What does Léo Grasset answer?
For his part, Léo Grasset "firmly contests the accusations" and "will provide his answers to the competent judicial authorities", commented to AFP Me Fares Aidel, who defends the youtuber with Me Camille Loyer.
The influencer also responded to the accusations relayed by Mediapart in a video posted on his channel in mid-November.
“I have a sometimes messy love life, and sometimes I also make big redneck jokes, but the article paints a dishonest portrait of me;
he builds a toxic character with insinuations and truncated quotations”, he declares there, denying in particular having raped a young woman in 2016. He also indicates having “cheated”, “lied”, and evokes “ remorse” for “a few chaotic years”.
What do his fellow youtubers think?
Since the first testimonies collected by Mediapart in June, many influencers on the online video platform have taken up the subject “Léo Grasset”.
More recently, YouTuber Manon Bril, better known by her nickname "It's another story", reacted on Twitter.
“Making a case like this public is not only educating the population […] but also warning others that they are not alone,” she commented.
And to continue: “I also greatly admire the strength of all these women who spoke, congratulations again and thank you.
our dossier on violence against women
“We will stand by his side, as we have done for all of us and from the start”, for his part commented on the address of the complainant Léa, Marine Périn, or “Marinette”.
The latter also testified to the police of psychological and sexual violence on the part of Léo Grasset.
Influencer Leo Grasset under investigation for rape in Paris
Sexual and psychological violence: YouTuber Léo Grasset (DirtyBiology) "totally denies the accusations"