In a programme broadcast this week by French online investigative website Mediapart, twenty women directly accuse the former TF1 TV star Patrick Poivre d'Arvor of rape, sexual assault and harassment.
The twenty women told Mediapart what had encouraged them to testify publicly again or for the first time on camera against Patrick Poivre d'Arvor (often referred to as PPDA).
On 27 April the former TV news journalist filed a complaint for slander against sixteen women who accuse him of sexual violence or sexual harassment.
Mediapart points out that "Patrick Poivre d'Arvor did not follow up," on the site's request for an interview "under conditions similar to those offered" to the witnesses. He "denies any violence, sexual or otherwise, towards the women who accused him", according to the words of his lawyer reported by the online investigative website.
If most of the testimonies had already been revealed, new ones have been added to a long list.
Marie-Laure Eude-Delattre, a sales consultant, recalled events dating back to 1985. "I was raped by M. Patrick Poivre d'Arvor. I was 23-years-old and it took me 36 years to file a complaint," she said at the beginning of the programme.
Margot Cauquil-Gleizes, a teacher, described the assault she suffered in the 1960s when she was a minor. These two women, far from the Parisian media microcosm, describe similar facts: a non-consensual sexual act committed by surprise.
"He locked the door," says Marie-Laure Eude-Delattre. "And then I saw him naked as a worm, rubbing himself on the sofa. I was in a state of shock, I didn't move."
"We are sisters in misfortune", Florence Porcel explained. The writer lodged the first complaint against PPDA in February 2021.
Following Porcel's complaint, 22 other women gave evidence against d’Arvor, seven of them bringing formal charges alleging rape, sexual violence or harassment. No charges were pressed for these allegations because they fell outside the time limit allowed under French law.
"We are no longer afraid of him because we are now together," Porcel continued. Last November, several alleged victims launched the #MeTooMedia organisation with the aim of "triggering a liberation of speech in the media world".
TF1 former boss reaction
The former boss of TF1, Nonce Paolini, said he understood "the suffering" of these women, while insisting that he was not aware of the alleged events, according to French news agency AFP.
To date, seventeen women have filed complaints against PPDA, eight of them for rape. Sixteen of them, whose complaints were closed in June due to the statute of limitations, are currently the subject of a complaint by PPDA for "slanderous denunciation".
A judicial investigation is still underway in Nanterre following the complaint by journalist Florence Porcel.
In total, 27 women have now testified against PPDA in the press or in court, including two who were minors at the time of the alleged events.