Pierre Ménès tried on Wednesday for sexual assault

The former star football columnist Pierre Ménès, who left Canal + after the broadcast in the spring of 2021 of a documentary on sexism in the newsrooms, is on trial this Wednesday, June 8 in Paris for “sexual assault” which he disputes vigorously.

At the end of the PSG-Nantes match on November 20, 2021 in Paris, a hostess from the Parc des Princes had reported to the police acts of sexual assault for which Pierre Ménès, 58, would be responsible, without filing a complaint. According to “le Parisien”, he would have touched the chest of this woman. Placed in police custody on December 9 and released the same evening, he had denied these accusations. He is summoned this Wednesday before the Paris Criminal Court to answer it, as well as the so-called “Nike” case.

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In an article published in March 2021, Mediapart indicated that Pierre Ménès had been the subject of a complaint for “sexual assault” filed in October 2018 by an employee of a Parisian store of the sports equipment manufacturer. According to the investigation site, this complaint had been dismissed on January 17, 2019 after a reminder of the law by the Paris prosecutor’s office, a criminal orientation which can be revised in the event of new facts.

A “legal aberration”

“My client is completely calm, concerning facts that are not at all characterized, and we will demonstrate the slander that has damaged the honor and consideration of Mr. Ménès”his lawyer, Arash Derambarsh, told AFP.

Regarding the sexual assault of which he is accused at the Parc des Princes, the lawyer said in December that he had “six testimonials that clear Pierre Ménès”. There is in this file “no complaint, no evidence, no victim, nor the beginning of the beginning of the slightest photo, video or testimony”argues the board, speaking of“legal aberration”.

Pierre Ménès filed a complaint for slanderous denunciation and produced three witness statements “confirming unanimously that[il avait] spent all of his time by their side from the moment he arrived for the cocktail in the dressing room, during the match and the post-match cocktail”according to this complaint consulted by AFP.

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Testimonials from Canal+ journalists

Sidelined at the end of March 2021 after accusations of sexual assault, the former star columnist of the “Canal Football Club” left the encrypted channel in July 2021, ending almost twelve years of collaboration.

This departure had followed the broadcast on Canal + of a documentary on sexism in sports newsrooms and the revelation of incriminating sequences, cut during editing at the request of the channel, suspected of having protected him.

“Go back to your kitchen, bitch”, the sexism suffered by sports journalists

Pierre Ménès is notably accused of having lifted the skirt of journalist Marie Portolano, co-director of the documentary, off the air in 2016. Marie Portolano, who had not filed a complaint at the material time, was heard in April by the police, as part of the investigation opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Pierre Ménès assured not to remember the incident due to serious health problems at the time: non-alcoholic cirrhosis which kept him away from the sets for seven months and required a double liver transplant and a kidney.

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“You’re going to be too fat to be on the air”: because of sexism, these journalists stopped covering sport

The ex-columnist is also criticized for forcibly kissing journalist Isabelle Moreau on television in 2011, as well as columnist Francesca Antoniotti in 2016.

“deep regrets”

These facts took place before the outbreak of the #MeToo wave. Since then, he had launched on Cyril Hanouna’s show on C8, “we can’t say anything anymore, we can’t do anything anymore”. Pierre Ménès had however expressed “deep regret”.

“It’s MeToo, we can’t say anything more”: Pierre Ménès reacts to accusations of sexual assault

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In eleven years of collaboration with Canal +, he says he was summoned only once in 2018 to go there “soft” on his “reflections” and having received a warning in 2021 for an interview given, without authorization, on YouTube.

In October, the columnist launched a digital platform dedicated to football with Reworld Media, the Pierrot Football Club ».

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