For the very first time, 20 women who accuse PPDA of sexual violence and problematic behavior speak together on Mediapart.
Overwhelming testimonials. This Tuesday evening on Mediapart20 women who testified against journalist and presenter Patrick Poivre d’Arvor took the floor to recount the sexual violence or problematic behavior of which they were victims.
At the same time, the investigation site specifies that “Patrick Poivre d’Arvor did not respond” to his request for an interview “under conditions similar to those offered” to the witnesses. Through the voice of his lawyer, he “contests any violence, sexual or not, against the women who accused him”.
During this program of more than two hours, the complainants aged 28 to 63 recounted in turn and with emotion their unfortunate experiences in the company of PPDA. Some described acts of sexual harassment, others assaults, and still others rape. In their testimonies, many of them described a “modus operandi” common to the journalist: invitations to discuss in hotel rooms, or even in his office at TF1.
“I’m not ashamed, shame needs to change sides”
Marie-Laure Eude Delattre, commercial adviser in the Somme, is the first to have told what had happened to her in May 1985, when she was 22 years old and she was at the Cannes festival. “I’m not ashamed, shame needs to change sides,” this woman begins first.
“I was a very perky little intern (…) I found myself in front of a man who was famous, who imposed it, who was ugly. I say it bluntly, he was not at all my type of guy “.
This woman, who claims “to have said it a lot but not to have been listened to”, says she was the victim of a “surprise rape” after being taken to the hotel by the star presenter after a screening one evening.
“Until the end, I thought I was going to a terrace for a drink,” she confides, supported by the other women on the Mediapart set. “He is a man who uses himself”, she describes, again.
Stéphanie Khayat, she says she went to her office at the TF1 tower “for a professional interview”. “I was anorexic, I weighed 30 kg”, she recalls, her voice full of emotion, before adding, on the verge of tears: “five minutes after entering his office, I had his penis in my mouth”.
The news site also broadcast the video testimony of Armelle Hervieu, journalist and videographer, who describes “predatory behavior” at PPDA, who tried to kiss her after inviting her to his office to discuss the anorexia of their respective daughters.
“It didn’t go any further but it could have if I hadn’t found the strength to tell him ‘no’. (…) He saw an easy opportunity there”. To accusations of wanting to harm this star of the media world, Armelle Hervieu retorts: “What interest would I have in coming out of silence to say that? I have, in fact, much more to lose”.
“We are objects, pieces of meat”
Among the testimonies, there is also that of Camille, a 28-year-old administrative adviser in the North of France, who recounted the sexual assault she said she suffered in 2013 while working at Club Med. “After a discussion, he offers me to go and chat after the meal. I did not see the harm because I did not even imagine him having any sexual life, he was so old for me”, says the young woman who has at the time 23 years.
Despite numerous refusals, she explains that the journalist followed her into the hotel elevator, then into the lobby. “I had to insist that I was going to see colleagues. Not only is he under duress, but it’s premeditated. His goal was to be alone in the elevator with me”, she remembers.
17 complaints, including 8 for rape
Another woman, Nora Arbelbide says she was followed to her hotel room in Martinique by the journalist when she had refused his advances. Now a library worker, she denies that there was an “ounce of seduction” in Patrick Poivre d’Arvor’s approach to her, contrary to what the presenter claims in his defense. For him, “we are objects, pieces of meat”, she analyzes.
“Of course he doesn’t even remember me. He played with the fact that I was Basque, that I had an accent. There was something fetishized.”
Seventeen women filed a complaint against PPDA, including eight for rape. Sixteen of them, whose complaints were closed in June for prescription, are currently the subject of a PPDA complaint for “slanderous denunciation”.
A judicial investigation is underway in Nanterre following the complaint with civil action by journalist Florence Porcel, who broke the case in February 2021. At the same time, the prosecution is conducting another investigation into three other complaints. In total, at least 27 women testified against PPDA in the press or in court, including two who were minors at the time of the alleged events.
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