News World French ex-leader faces sex assault claim

French ex-leader faces sex assault claim

An investigation of a sexual assault accusation filed by a German journalist against Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has been opened. Photo: AAP
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French prosecutors have launched an investigation into a sexual assault allegation against the former president of France, Valery Giscard d’Estaing.

The 94-year-old is accused of repeatedly groping German reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke while they posed for a photograph together following an interview in December 2018. 

The journalist said Mr Giscard grabbed her buttocks three times and she tried to push his hand away, according to reports by French newspaper Le Monde and German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

“I decided to tell my story because I think that people should know that a French former president harassed me sexually after an interview,” Stracke told German broadcaster WDR.

Her employer conducted an independent investigation into her claim before accompanying Stracke in bringing it to the attention of Paris prosecutors on March 10.

Stracke welcomed the news of the investigation, saying: “I am, of course, at the disposal of the French authorities in the context of this investigation.”

WDR, the news outlet for which the December 2018 interview was conducted, previously reported it had investigated the misconduct accusation.

Mr Giscard’s lawyer said last week the former French leader had no memory of the alleged incident.

Mr Giscard was president of France from 1974 to 1981 and is the oldest surviving former leader.

-with AAP