sexual assault

Ex-French president Giscard d'Estaing 'very upset' by sex assualt claim

Former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 7 Dec.2009.
Former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 7 Dec.2009. Photo by Edouard BERNAUX/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

France’s oldest surviving former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is “very upset” by an accusation of sexual assault made by a German journalist, according to his lawyer who says he has no recollection of such an incident.


French prosecutors this week opened an investigation after claims by reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke that Giscard d’Estaing, now 94 years old, repeatedly touched her in an inappropriate manner in his Paris office after an interview in 2018.

Giscard d’Estaing served as French president from 1974 until 1981.

His lawyer, Jean-Marc Fedida, said in a statement that his client had decided “not to feed the polemic” by speaking out on the issue.

'Defamatory attacks'

The statement added that the former French president was confident in the French justice system and had mandated his lawyer to take action against “defamatory attacks that damage his honour.”

Stacke, told AFP news agency last week that she had filed a complaint against the former president, claiming he had placed his hands on her backside three times while they posed for a photograph together in December2018, when he was 92.

“I decided to tell my story because I think that people should know that a French former president harassed me sexually after an interview”, she said.

She took her case to Paris prosecutors in March this year, backed by her employer, the German public television station WDR.

Giscard sits on France’s Constitutional Council, the body tasked with ensuring that laws conform with the constitution.


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