Pierre Joxe was dismissed Wednesday in appeal of his defamation lawsuits against the writer Ariane Fornia, who accused him of sexual assault.
The Paris Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of Ariane Fornia, who had claimed in a blog post to have been the victim of a sexual assault by the former minister, believing that she could "benefit from the sincerity ".
Pierre Joxe's lawyer, Me Jean-Yves Dupeux announced to AFP that his client was going to lodge an appeal in cassation.
This judgment lends to the concept of "good faith", he ruled, "a very broad interpretation" which allows a person "to make serious accusations without foundation".
" It is a relief "
Ariane Fornia's counsel, Me Jean-Marc Fedida, expressed his “relief”.
"The Court of Appeal, by reversing the decision rendered by the court, sovereignly appreciated that there was a sufficient factual basis in the statements (of the writer)," said his lawyer.
"It is a relief and a decision which, without doubt, will contribute to its relief and to its appeasement", he added.
At first instance, Ariane Fornia, whose real name is Alexandra Besson, was ordered to pay a symbolic euro in damages and 3,000 euros for legal costs to Pierre Joxe, who had brought this lawsuit.
According to the court, "nothing in the file allows to characterize a personal animosity" of Ms. Fornia towards Mr. Joxe.
Ariane Fornia, daughter of the former Minister Eric Besson, had declared "that before the facts, she did not know" the face of Pierre Joxe and did not know anything about him, noted the court, also estimating that "his remarks have remained relatively cautious ”.
The former minister categorically disputes the facts
The case began in October 2017, at the height of the #MeToo wave, with the publication on Ariane Fornia's blog of a long post in which she recounted having been the victim of several sexual assaults in her youth, including the one at the Opéra Bastille.
She did not name her alleged aggressor by name, but referred to "a former minister of Mitterrand, member of several governments, who held royal functions".
The name of Pierre Joxe, who categorically disputes the facts, quickly emerged.
Morning essentials newsletter
A tour of the news to start the day
Subscribe to the newsletterAll newsletters
The former Minister of the Interior and then of Defense had protested against a “slanderous and scandalous denunciation” and had asked for “a written and public apology”.
Faced with the writer's refusal, he had sued her.
Ariane Fornia had never filed a complaint against Pierre Joxe, now 86 years old.