PARIS — The director of a prestigious French political science college resigned on Tuesday night, weeks after accusations of incest involving one of many college’s most outstanding figures had raised suspicions about who may need identified in regards to the allegations and saved silent.
Frédéric Mion, who has been the director of the college, Sciences Po, since 2013, stated in a letter to college students that he had determined to resign after a report from training ministry inspectors pointed to “errors in judgment in my dealing with of the allegations which had been communicated to me in 2018, and inconsistencies in the best way I communicated about this case after it arose.”
Mr. Mion, 51, had been below rising stress from college students to step down after it turned clear that he had taken no motion in opposition to Olivier Duhamel, a longtime professor who additionally headed the governing board overseeing Sciences Po, regardless of figuring out of the accusations in opposition to him.
Within the newest in a sequence of sexual abuse scandals which have shaken France’s intellectual and political elite, Mr. Duhamel, a well known 70-year-old mental, was accused by his stepdaughter, Camille Kouchner, of getting abused her twin brother beginning when he was 14.
Mr. Duhamel has since resigned from all of the positions he held, saying he was decided to “protect the establishments wherein I work.” The Paris prosecutor’s workplace shortly introduced that it was opening an investigation into allegations of rape of a minor and sexual aggression.
The accusations appeared in a e book printed final month, “La Familia Grande,” by Mrs. Kouchner, who painted an uncompromising portrait of Mr. Duhamel but additionally of the small world of intellectuals, artists and politicians surrounding him, whom she accused of getting largely protected her stepfather.
“In a short time,” she writes, “the microcosm of individuals in energy, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, was knowledgeable. Many individuals knew, and most pretended nothing had occurred.”
Jean Veil, a outstanding Paris lawyer and really shut buddy of Mr. Duhamel’s, acknowledged within the newspaper Le Monde that he had identified of the sexual abuse however saved silent out of “skilled confidentiality.” Marc Guillaume, a high civil servant and former secretary common of the French authorities, stated he had been advised of “sexual issues” — however not of incest accusations — involving Mr. Duhamel, based on the French journal Marianne.
Mr. Mion stated he was alerted to the allegations in 2018 by a former tradition minister, Aurélie Filippetti. He stated had no taken motion due to the shortage of tangible proof and since Mr. Veil advised him it was solely rumors.
However in a cellphone interview on Tuesday, Ms. Filippetti stated Mr. Mion had known as her after the accusations had been made public final month within the e book and advised her “it shouldn’t be potential to assume that we knew.”
Ms. Filippetti stated the decision had “chilled” her.
Again in 2018, she stated, she trusted Mr. Mion to “no less than” take away Mr. Duhamel from his place at Sciences Po.
“You may’t simply sweep every part below the carpet relating to one thing that unhealthy,” Ms. Filippetti stated.
Léon Thébault, one of many many college students at Sciences Po who had requested for Mr. Mion’s departure, stated that the scandal “revealed the mechanisms put in place by Mr. Mion to protect an omertà” — however that ended up encouraging folks all through society to talk out on sexual abuse.
In his resignation letter, Mr. Mion stated the training ministry report confirmed “that no system of organized silence or complacency existed inside our institution.”
The accusations in opposition to Mr. Duhamel unleashed a torrent of accounts from folks throughout France who stated they’d been the victims of incest. The outpouring on French social media delivered to mild what many think about a pervasive drawback within the nation.
An unbiased fee arrange by the federal government to research incest has been reinvigorated with the appointment of two new co-presidents. Its former president, Elisabeth Guigou, resigned in early January due to her shut ties to Mr. Duhamel, although she stated she had been unaware of the allegations of abuse.
Following the wave of accounts on social media, President Emmanuel Macron has pledged more durable legal guidelines on little one sexual abuse.
“Right now, disgrace is switching sides,” Mr. Macron stated in a video posted on Twitter. “Nobody can ignore these experiences any longer.”
Gaëlle Fournier contributed analysis.