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German journalist ‘accuses ex-French president of sexual assault’

Valery Giscard d’Estaing alleged grabbed the woman during an interview.

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Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing has faced sex assault claims (Michel Euler, File/AP)

Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing has faced sex assault claims (Michel Euler, File/AP)

Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing has faced sex assault claims (Michel Euler, File/AP)

A German journalist has reportedly filed a sexual assault complaint with Paris prosecutors after accusing former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing of repeatedly grabbing her during an interview.

Giscard’s French lawyer said that the 94-year-old former president “retains no memory” of the incident. He was president of France from 1974-1981.

German broadcaster WDR reported on Wednesday night that it investigated the alleged misconduct after the journalist interviewed Giscard for WDR in December 2018.

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Valery Giscard d’Estaing was president from 1974 to 1981 (Michel Euler, File/AP)

Valery Giscard d’Estaing was president from 1974 to 1981 (Michel Euler, File/AP)

AP/PA Images

Valery Giscard d’Estaing was president from 1974 to 1981 (Michel Euler, File/AP)

The journalist said Giscard grabbed her buttocks three times and she tried to push his hand away, according to reports by French daily Le Monde and German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

WDR said it asked lawyers to investigate, and then sent a protest letter to Giscard last year saying “we cannot tolerate our employees being confronted with such situations”.

The journalist filed a legal complaint this March with Paris prosecutors, the reports said. The prosecutor’s office would not comment on Thursday.

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In a statement to the Associated Press, Giscard’s lawyer Jean-Marc Fedida suggested possible legal retaliation “against a particularly undignified and offensive media (attack)” around the accusation.

According to Le Monde, the journalist did not file a complaint right away because she did not understand enough about the French justice system, but later changed her mind in part thanks to inspiration from the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

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