His face was among those of the supposed victims of Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, on the front page of
published last November.
Supported by 8 other women, including Cécile Delarue, Muriel Reus and Aude Darlet, Hélène Devynck then testified, with her face uncovered, to the rape she allegedly suffered in 1993 by the star host of the TF1 newscast.
“I remember a physical immobility and a panic of thoughts, of having mentally sought with all my strength a solution to get out of there, without finding it”, she remembered for the daily newspaper.
Read also“We knew nothing”: when Nonce Paolini, the former CEO of TF1, mentioned the PPDA affair
A year later, the journalist tells her version of the story in a book called
, to be published on September 23 by Editions du Seuil, in which she plunges the reader into a chilling story, as well as that of the other supposed victims of PPDA (23 women in total).
A punchy book through which she also points out the whole misogynistic and discriminatory system specific to TF1.
"Sisters of Misery"
“The whole of France knows his name and his face, but not ours”, she declared, this Wednesday, September 21, facing Augustin Trapenard in the program “La Grande Librairie” on France 5
Hélène Devynck accuses PPDA of having raped her at home when she was only 24 years old.
If she is silent for almost twenty-eight years, the former editor of the JT ends her silence in 2021, after the affair broke out with the first testimony of Florence Porcel.
Twenty-one women will follow.
A first investigation will be closed without further action in June 2021. “We had the impression that we were being thrown in the trash, as if we had not spoken, as if we had done nothing”, explains she.
If I hadn't worked at TF1, I wouldn't have been raped
Over the pages that build her book
, Hélène Devynck returns to the PPDA affair, retracing all these stories of women, these actions with
always very similar
modus operandi .
Even more, it attacks, in the background, the television channel that allowed this trivialization of impunity.
Faced with Augustin Trapenard, she explains bluntly: “If I had not worked at TF1, I would not have been raped.
I was not protected”.
Hélène Devynck denounces the culture of silence full of sexism, which was expressed "on the air and in the writing".
"The harassment was not named, we were talking about flirting (...) I have the impression of having done a giant slalom each time to avoid such and such",
During her visit to France Inter, this Thursday, September 22, the journalist notably returned to the "coup du plateau", a well-known stratagem of the victims of Patrick Poivre d'Arvor.
“He invited a young woman to the newspaper, she explained at the microphone of Léa Salamé.
He put her in front of him on the set, then brought her up to his office and jumped on her.
A tactic made "several times a week for 35 years", told in unison by all the women listened to in the PPDA affair.
Read alsoFrom victims to combatants: 5 films, documentaries and fictions to denounce violence against women
The threat of defamation
The author also evokes the “threat of defamation which hangs over each of her words”.
“I cannot prove that Patrick Poivre d'Arvor raped me.
I never can.
The facts are prescribed.
They will never be tried,” she wrote in
But since her speech, Hélène Devynck says she is crumbling under the criticism of her detractors and fervent defenders of the host.
"I was told that I was doing this to be in the light, that I was a scatterbrain, a 'starfuckeuse'", she describes, evoking this "cultural impregnation which makes us wary of women who speak".
A “quasi-automatic” reflex.
In video, “There are few little kisses on the neck”, declared PPDA in Daily
remains a choral, collective work, imbued with sorority.
A literary work addressed to these “sisters of misery”, with the aim that “it serves”, and unites.
Hélène Devynck also recounts well this day of the year 2021, where she and the 22 other women accusing Patrick Poivre d'Arvor had finally met at a dinner.
“For the first time, she says, we felt safe”.