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France

Artist who published Griveaux sex tape under official investigation

Piotr Pavlenski in Moscow, Russia, 8 June 2016.
Piotr Pavlenski in Moscow, Russia, 8 June 2016. Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Russian artist Pitor Pavelenski and his girlfriend Alexandra de Taddeo are under official investigation in France over the leaking of a sex video that caused the ruling party's candidate for mayor of Paris, Benjamin Griveaux, to end his campaign.

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Prosecutors opened preliminary investigations into the pair, who are facing charges of invasion of privacy and publishing images of a sexual nature without consent. Pavlenski is also being investigated for a separate incident, a knife fight at a New Year's Eve party in Paris.

Paris prosecutors have asked that he be placed in detention for that incident, and that the couple be placed under judicial supervision for the first charge.

Pavlenski and de Taddeo were taken into custody on Saturday and questioned for two days, as allowed under French law.

Pavlenski, an artist and activist who received asylum in France after fleeing Russia in 2017, has already admitted publishing the video on a website he created.

The video, which was widely shared on social media, shows a man masturbating, along with racy text messages. De Taddeo is believed to have been the recipient of the video and messages, which were sent in 2018.

Griveaux dropped out of the race for Paris mayor after the scandal broke, claiming that he wanted to protect his family. He has filed a complaint against for the publication of the video.

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