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Pair facing charges over France sex-tape scandal

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Paris, France   /   Tue, February 18, 2020   /   05:44 am
Pair facing charges over France sex-tape scandal Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky speaks during a press interview with AFP at his lawyer's office in Paris on February 14, 2020. Pavlensky was placed in custody on February 15, 2020 as part of an investigation for violence on December 31, 2019. (AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

A Russian artist and his girlfriend will face a judge over a sex-video scandal that damaged the career of an ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, prosecutors said Monday.

Pyotr Pavlensky and Alexandra de Taddeo could be charged on Tuesday with invasion of privacy and publishing images of a sexual nature without consent.

Pavlensky has already admitted publishing a video showing a man masturbating, along with racy text messages sent to a woman.

The video prompted Benjamin Griveaux, a married father of three, to pull out of the race to be Paris mayor a month before the first round of voting.

Griveaux has filed a complaint and politicians from across the spectrum have come to his defence, portraying the 42-year-old as a victim of a hatchet job.

Pavlensky, 35, told AFP last Friday that he wanted to expose the "hypocrisy" of Griveaux and his campaign pledges to uphold family values.

Taddeo, 29, is believed to have been the recipient of the videos sent in 2018.

Griveaux's fall left Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) party scrambling to find a replacement candidate for Paris mayor.

Health Minister Agnes Buzyn is set to take his place despite the daunting odds -- Griveaux was already running in a distant third place before the scandal broke.

Pavlensky, who has a long record of provocative performances, received asylum in France in 2017 after several radical protests in Russia.

He was originally detained on Saturday on accusations he pulled a knife during a brawl at a New Year's Eve party in Paris, before investigators shifted their focus to the leaked sex video.