Former French MP sues sexual harassment accusers


A defamation lawsuit brought by a former French MP against six women who accused him of sexual harassment and four journalists who reported the allegations has opened in what is seen as a further backlash against the #MeToo movement in France. Denis Baupin, the former vice president of France’s Assemblée National and a prominent MP for the Green party, resigned in May 2016 after denying the allegations.

The investigative website Mediapart and the radio station France Inter published stories from 14 women who alleged Baupin had groped and harassed them over a number of years. Most of the women were also members of the Green party, whose leader was then Baupin’s wife, Emmanuelle Cosse; four of them filed criminal complaints for sexual harassment. A nine-month investigation, during which police interviewed 50 people, ended with prosecutors announcing there would be no charges as the three-year statute of limitations had expired. In a statement, the prosecutors said the women had given “measured, constant statements”.The scandal broke 18 months before the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by multiple women, which sparked an international campaign calling powerful men to account for their behaviour.(theguardian)…[+]