French prosecutors have launched an investigation into an alleged sexual assault by France’s former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Le Figaro reported.
German journalist Ann-Kathrin Stracke filed a complaint in which she accused the 94-year-old former leader of groping her after an interview in Paris in December 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. She described it as a “very degrading” situation.
“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.
Stracke, who works for German public broadcaster WDR, claims that Giscard d’Estaing groped her backside three times while posing for a photograph after she interviewed him in 2018.
“While taking the photo, he put his hand on my left waist before sliding it to my backside where it stayed,” she said. “I tried to push him away but I didn’t manage to.”
According to Stracke, a cameraman then had to intervene by a putting a chair between the journalist and Giscard d’Estaing. She filed the complaint on March 10 with the backing of her employer who had conducted its own internal investigation into the incident.
Giscard d’Estaing’s lawyer, Jean-Marc Fedida, has previously said that his client has no recollection of the incident or the interview. Fedida condemned “a particularly undignified and offensive media,” and suggested his client was considering legal retaliation.