Gabriel Matzneff, the notorious French author who wrote about being a paedophile, has said he regrets having sex with children in Asia after sales of his book went through the roof when cops started investigating him.
The infamous author, who wrote the book called ‘Les Moins de Seize Ans’ (‘The Under Sixteens’) and who for decades was tolerated by the Parisian literary elite, is now under investigation after Vanessa Springora, who he allegedly abused when she was 13, published her tell-all book, prompting an investigation.
According to Le Monde, Matzneff is currently in hiding in Italy, after the Paris prosecutor began investigating him earlier this month for ‘rape of children under the age of 15’ (‘viol sur mineurs de moins de 15 ans’).
The investigation, which some say is decades late, was triggered after Springora’s book, ‘Le Consentement’ (‘Consent’), caused outrage and renewed interest in Matzneff, in the post-me-2 world.
In an interview with BFMTV, Matzneff said that he “did not want to read” her book, adding that he would “never say anything against her because she is a radiant person.”
When asked about the sexual intercourse he wrote about in his books involving underage boys in Asia, Matzneff, who is now 83, said: “A tourist, a foreigner, should not behave like that.
“We must, as adults, look away, resist temptation.
“Of course I regret it, just as if I do something that is not right, I also regret it.”
He added: “At the time, there was talk of the misappropriation of minors, incitement of the minor to debauchery, indecent assault… But no one ever spoke of a crime.”
Matzneff then said: “It was over forty years ago!”
He added: “You were there as a traveller and you had young boys and girls who flirted and jumped on you, under the benevolent eye of the police.”
In the meantime, Franck Riester, the Minister for Culture, has suspended an annual payment the writer had received since 2002. His publisher Gallimard has also cut all ties with him.
Speaking about the government’s decision to suspend his payments, Matzneff said: “In just a few weeks, I have been destroyed socially.”
The investigation against him for raping children under the age of 15 began on 3rd January, just after the publication of Springora’s book.
Springora, an editor who is now 47, has published a tell-all book called Consent, which is about her relationship with Matzneff in the 1980s, which began when she was just 13 years old.
Matzneff’s ‘The Under Sixteens’ was first published in 1974 as a 90-page book in which he proudly proclaims his ‘love’ of underage boys and girls. He details how he ‘seduces’ them and attempts to justify paedophilia by making repeated references to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.
Gallimard have since recalled all of his published books and journals in a move they say was “unprecedented in 140 years” of publishing.
Amazon have also reportedly taken down his ‘The Under Sixteens’ book, including the Kindle version, after sales allegedly shot through the roof at the beginning of the month.
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