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AFP
September 25, 2020

Disgraced French writer Matzneff stripped of aid

World

AFP
September 25, 2020

France has stripped paedophile writer Gabriel Matzneff of all state aid, the country’s culture minister said on Thursday.

The controversial essayist, who never made a secret of his preference for s.x with adolescent girls and boys, is to stand trial next year on a charge of promoting paedophilia. “I can assure you that Gabriel Matzneff is no longer getting his grant,” Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot told the publishing weekly, Livres Hebdo.

Matzneff has occupied a privileged niche in the French literary world for years, winning the prestigious Renaudot prize in 2013 and getting thousands of euros in aid as well as a subsidised apartment in Paris’ upmarket Left Bank.

Officials said he received some 160,000 euros ($186,000) over the past 18 years in grants for low-income writers. But publisher Vanessa Springora ignited a huge scandal earlier this year with her memoir “Consent”, in which she described how she was groomed by Matzneff when she was 14.

Two other women have since come forward to say they too were abused by him as teenagers. The scandal has shaken the French arts and fashion establishments, with a deputy mayor of Paris forced to resign because of his links to the writer. Christophe Girard had been the conduit for money given to the writer from the Saint Laurent fashion house. Girard too is now under investigation over a rape accusation against him, which he denies.