Child abuse scandal stuns France

A child abuse scandal is rocking France. For years, renowned author Gabriel Matzneff detailed how he had sex with minors in his books. Now, in a new memoir, one of his victims argues that the media and the publishing industry allowed this to happen.

His overdue retribution is the result of a memoir by one of his victims

It’s the child abuse scandal rocking France. French writer Gabriel Matzneff never hid the fact that he had sex with very young girls and boys, all the while being celebrated by France’s literary elite, even receiving a prestigious prize in 2013. Now, one of his victims, Vanessa Springora, has written a memoir recounting their "relationship", which started when she was only 14. A clip of Matzneff boasting on TV about having sex with minors has since gone viral in France.

His whole identity was invested in the seduction of children and teenagers

Matzneff spent decades as a French literary darling. His work was supported by leading newspapers and literary publications. He’d appear on highbrow TV shows where he’d delight interviewers and audiences with the sublime pleasures of having sex with children in France and on sex tours of southeast Asia. In his book Under 16 Years Old, Matzneff writes, “To sleep with a child, it’s a holy experience, a baptismal event, a sacred adventure.” The book was first published in 1974 but was republished, apparently with no controversy, in 2005. In 2013, Metznaff received a major French literary prize.

His confessions were celebrated as literary contributions in France

Director Roman Polanski, who fled America rather than face sentencing for statutory rape, is routinely defended by Hollywood royalty in part because of a similar aristocratic attitude. In France, it’s illegal to have sex with minors under the age of 15. But it’s not always considered rape, unlike in some countries where minors are deemed incapable of consent. At the time of the TV show, only Canadian writer Denise Bombardier had taken issue with Matzneff’s words.