The effect of a tsunami. The posting of videos of a sexual nature presented like those of Benjamin Griveaux, Wednesday evening on a mysterious website, swept the candidacy of the close friend of Emmanuel Macron to the mayor of Paris in less than 48 hours.
Friday, when he announced that he would give up running because of “heinous attacks”, Benjamin Griveaux undoubtedly took part of the voters who were still unaware of these accusations of adultery. Back to the chronology of a case as sudden as it is overwhelming.
On Wednesday, a dependent article is published on a mysterious website. Hosted in North America since November but unused until now, this site is coordinated by the Russian protest artist Piotr Pavlenski, sentenced last year to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, for having torched the facade of a Paris branch of the Banque de France.
The site presents itself as “the first pornographic resource with the participation of civil servants and political representatives” and attacks those “who lie to their voters by imposing Puritanism on society, while they despise it themselves”.
VIDEO. Benjamin Griveaux withdraws his candidacy for mayor of Paris
In this inaugural article, Benjamin Griveaux is thus presented as a candidate who “positions himself as an exemplary father”, taunts the author in a long post referring in particular to exchanges with “a young girl”.
The text is accompanied by screenshots of text messages and masturbation videos from a man presented as the candidate for mayor of Paris. Friday afternoon, he had not formally recognized that it was him.
Thursday afternoon: Son Forget’s boost
Initially not very visible, the publication receives an unexpected spotlight from deputy Joachim Son-Forget (ex-LREM, without label) Thursday afternoon.
“I hope that these distressing sexual videos incriminating Benjamin Griveaux and a young woman will be denied by the person concerned and his team because such defamation would be extremely serious in the campaign for Paris”, alarms the parliamentarian on Twitter at 6:15 pm by posting the URL of the article in question.
This posture poses a question: before him, only four Internet users tweeted the famous link to the site and its videos, without obtaining any sharing, according to a census that we established Friday afternoon from the messages still online.
Very quickly made aware, Joachim Son Forget therefore largely participated in their advertising. Contacted by Le Parisien, he denied any intention “to harm the candidate for mayor of Paris”.
At the end of the afternoon, Emmanuel Macron was informed of the situation, while he was still on the move in Haute-Savoie “This story is an industrial disaster”, storms someone close to the Head of State .
Thursday evening: a post published on Mediapart
In the evening, an anonymous post is published on the space dedicated to blogs on the Mediapart site. This one, entitled “Doctor Griveaux or Mister Grivois: a new DSK affair? »Has since been unpublished by the editorial staff« because it does not comply with the Participation Charter », indicates the site.
VIDEO. Withdrawal of Griveaux: Hidalgo calls for “respect for the privacy of families”
Before its deletion, the text ensures in particular that the “young woman who leaked these videos” would like to “remain anonymous” but that she would have “made it known that she was willing to give additional evidence” if Benjamin Griveaux were to “deny facts “.
In the night from Thursday to Friday: summit meetings
Thursday evening, the macronist Tout-Paris is buzzing with the rumor of a “forced renunciation” of the candidate. “It is not at the Elysee Palace to plug or unplug a candidate,” said the presidency.
According to our information, Benjamin Griveaux initially refused to be “disconnected” from the campaign, which he finally accepts.
Friday morning: the renunciation
At dawn, searches associated with the name of Benjamin Griveaux exploded on Google. At 9 am, the interested party announced the withdrawal of his candidacy for mayor of Paris in a speech filmed and broadcast online.
Denouncing “despicable attacks involving” his “private life”, the candidate said he did not wish to expose himself further. “It’s going too far,” he regrets, his voice white. “This decision costs me, but my priorities are very clear, it is first of all my family.”
The lawyer of the now ex-candidate, Me Richard Malka, announces that a complaint is under consideration, in particular for “invasion of the intimacy of the private life”.
At the same time, Piotr Pavlenski, the Russian activist behind the publication, claims his action in the media. “Griveaux was the first, we will continue,” he promises. Opening the door to the proliferation of a new type of political scandal.