Promises are made to be kept. It had been almost a year since the public service channel communicated around a special issue of "Complement" dedicated to one and the same person: Cyril Hanouna. The 49-year-old has established himself as a key figure in the French audiovisual landscape with his show "Touche pas à mon poste". And this displeases a certain part of the population, judging it provocative or too far removed from journalism strictly speaking.
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In addition to being at the head of the talk show "TPMP" broadcast on C8, Cyril Hanouna is also a producer and founder of H2O Productions and a shareholder of Banijay Production, a company that went public in 2022. He is portrayed in the program of France 2 this November 30 as "the new godfather of the PAF".
Read also"I'm going to take care of Thierry Moreau": Cyril Hanouna attacks his ex-columnist in the middle of a debate on "Complement"
The public service group's channel had promised "unpublished testimonies and exclusive documents". Journalist Virginie Vilar told Télérama that it was "the most complicated investigation of my entire career." So, if the investigative magazine's teams promised revelations about the host and producer, what is it really like?
Secret of Sources Broken
"A jester turned king." This is how Tristan Waleckx introduced Cyril Hanouna in the first minutes of the show. "Complement" is therefore based on the testimonies of people close to "Baba" such as Valérie Bénaïm, a friend and columnist in "TPMP", Arnaud Lagardère, his former boss, and his childhood friend Medhi Harbaoui.
But the investigative magazine also relied on the statements of former collaborators such as columnist Jessie Claire who said she was "afraid of being humiliated before each show" or a former pillar of "Touche pas à mon poste" who wanted to remain anonymous. The latter began his remarks by explaining how the talk show works internally and in advance. On the stage, each seat is carefully chosen. "It's really the right ones that are most important. [...] Benaïm he calls her the laughing one because she laughs loudly. The last place is called the place of the potiche, it is always a girl who occupies it. It was Delphine Wespiser, Kelly Vedovelli...", he detailed.
More worryingly, Cyril Hanouna is said to be at the origin of dubious practices to ensure the success and buzz of his show. His right-hand man, Lionel Stan, is said to have given the police the professional cards of these four policemen at the end of the controversy concerning the appearance of members of the BRAV-M in the show, even though he had promised to keep their anonymity. Hanouna's team is said to have ensured, in the journalistic context, the protection of its witnesses' sources. Yet, this was not the case. The managing director of H2O Productions assured Virginie Vilar on the phone that he was not a media organization, and therefore not in a position to apply such protection. Is it a deliberately broken secret or a misunderstanding? Only the result is known, three of these police officers are still at risk of losing their jobs following their intervention in the show.
In the same way, Hanouna would control the statements of some of his columnists on specific subjects. He would ask his team to dictate defined reactions to spice up the debate, as with the example on the death penalty, or to ensure a kind of protection, like the parody of the host Arthur, which strongly displeased the TF1 group.
Physical threats and name-calling
From friend and mentor, Jacques Essebag, better known under the pseudonym Arthur, was relegated to the rank of enemy. This new position would have earned Cyril Hanouna sending insulting text messages against Arthur. "I'll put a piece of mortadella at the bottom of your butcher's ass" is one of them. Other messages are also said to have targeted TF1 teams working with his former mentor: "I'm putting a Bengal tiger in their ass" or "I'm putting my dick on his head".
Julien Cazarre, a comedian formerly working on Canal+, had been approached by the host to join his show. The latter had kindly declined the offer. Result? "The guy insults me on the phone with the voice of a guy from the 93 housing estate. The caricature of the poor man's Tony Montana. I don't remember exactly, but they were trashy insults, threats like 'I'm going to you, I know where you live,'" the football comedian recalled. The man did not take this telephone conversation seriously at first. Until a second call would have set the record straight. "Did you think I was kidding? But you don't know who we are, man," Hanouna is said to have said to Julien Cazarre. Frightened and not knowing how far the host could go, the comedian decided to file a complaint against the host in 2016 for a malicious phone call. And he is not the only one to count himself among the victims of the Hanouna clan.
"Michael Zazoun is a faggot, and faggots always end up fucking you."
Cyril Hanouna according to Michael Zazoun
"Michael Zazoun is a faggot, and faggots always end up fucking you." This sentence was allegedly uttered by Cyril Hanouna in 2014 against the former Virgin Radio columnist. After being informed of these remarks by two collaborators, including Enora Malagré, Michael Zazoun decided to end his career on the air and return to his profession as a pharmacist. Still, he wanted to denounce this behavior on these social networks. This was followed by a series of phone calls and threats against the man. The investigation finally revealed that it was none other than Cyril Hanouna's mother who made these malicious calls and homophobic remarks. She was also fined €440.
Three yachts in six years
The man's fortune is estimated at 85 million euros, not including his real estate assets. He has a villa on the heights of Cannes but also a yacht from the famous luxury brand Lamborghini which would like 3 million euros. And it wouldn't be the first boat to enter his collection in six years. The captain of his first yacht - bought for 1.5 million euros in 2017 - insisted on testifying in front of the camera of "Complement". Far from profiting exclusively from his yacht, Cyril Hanouna rented it for between 50,60 and 000,<> euros a week.
Also, its registration in the United Kingdom as well as its commercial status allowed Cyril Hanouna to make great savings. Thanks to this, the TV man could rent his boat to himself and therefore bypass the VAT on petrol, i.e. a saving of 1000 euros on a full tank of about 5000. Another point discovered by France 2, it did not directly employ crew members but sent an intermediary company based on the Channel Island of Guernsey. With this system, this would have meant that the employees would have contributed neither to unemployment nor to the French pension and would have allowed Cyril Hanouna to recover more than 30% of the seafarers' salaries. Nothing illegal, although these practices can be harmful to the victims.