New dependent items. Journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, already targeted since January by an investigation after a complaint filed for “attempted sexual assault”, and who has since been “temporarily” removed from the antenna of RMC and BFMTV, is the subject of new revelations from Mediapart (article subscribers), Monday, February 14. The information site has notably collected the testimony of several women who evoke inappropriate behavior by the journalist and star presenter of the media of the Altice group. Questioned by Mediapart, the latter did not wish to answer. Franceinfo summarizes the charges against him.
A complaint for “attempted sexual assault” against a young colleague
She had filed a complaint in early January, but we did not know her name. Fanny Agostini, former weather presenter of RMC and BFMTV, then passed by “Thalassa” (France 3), reveals in Mediapart to be at the origin of the complaint for “attempted sexual assault” targeting Jean-Jacques Bourdin. According to her, the facts date back to 2013, during the Petanque Open in Calvi, Corsica, where the presenter of the morning was also invited by the then CEO of the group, Alain Weill.
One morning, she swims in the hotel pool. According to his story, Jean-Jacques Bourdin would then have approached “very quickly”would have “grabbed by the neck, on the side”and would have “suddenly drawn to him” trying to kiss her “Many times”. “Surprising”she says she doesn’t have “not shouted”but to be “debated” and managed to get out of the water. The presenter would then have launched to him: “I always get what I want”, according to the complaint of the thirties. A sentence that “punctuated (his) nightmares for years”. And that Fanny Agostini says she lived “as a threat from someone who had a hierarchical ascendancy”.
She then assures that between September 2014 and spring 2015, the host sent her, in the midst of professional exchanges, numerous messages with a sexual connotation, one of which was consulted by Mediapart. “You tempt me every morning… I like your look”, he wrote to her in November 2014, on her professional email address. The journalist’s complaint triggered the opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office. If Fanny Agostini is for the moment the only one to have filed a complaint, the police have heard several women in the context of this file, according to information from Mediapart. Furthermore, an internal investigation at BFMTV and RMC was also launched in January.
After these first accusations, the Republican presidential candidate, Valérie Pécresse, supported women victims of sexual violence during a prime time program presented by Jean-Jacques Bourdin. In the process, another candidate, Yannick Jadot, canceled his appearance at the morning microphone. The journalist was later dismissed “temporarily” of the antenna, on January 23, for “avoid political and media manipulation of this affair”, according to a press release from the Altice group, the owner of BFMTV and RMC. For his part, Jean-Jacques Bourdin “firmly denies having engaged in acts or attitudes likely to be repressed by law, both in his professional sphere and outside it”according to a press release sent to AFP by his lawyer, Me Christian Saint-Palais.
Several accusations of inappropriate behavior towards young journalists
The journalist Sidonie Bonnec, host on France 2 and France Bleu, also testifies in Mediapart of a behavior that she considered inappropriate. Young journalist wishing to do radio, she was invited in 2010 to a festival in Calvi (again) by Jean-Jacques Bourdin. She had previously seen him several times for working lunches and dinners, the latter having given him a glimpse of the possibility of a column in his morning on RMC.
The facilitator, according to the testimony of the young woman, assures her that she will be staying at the hotel. But before leaving, he calls her to tell her that the establishment is full and that, “luck”he has “a villa with a friend”. He adds, according to Sidonie Bonnec: “There is a swimming pool, don’t forget your bathing suit”. “This sentence cut my legs”she explains to Mediapart, because “it was no longer professional at all”. The young journalist therefore decides not to go to the festival, and to go to Calvi with her companion since she has already taken her plane tickets. “After that, I never heard from anyone again. Obviously, I never got the job”she says.
Another woman, who testified under the pseudonym of Julie, told the investigative media of a similar episode at the end of the 1990s. Then aged 19, she had just completed an internship at RTL, of which the journalist was already the one of the iconic voices. The latter offers him to go have a coffee outside the editorial office to discuss his professional future. She accepts. Jean-Jacques Bourdin then explained to him that he was “the author of erotic stories”that she “inspired her a lot and that it would be good if (she) could accompany him to the places of his stories”assures the journalist to Mediapart. “I understood that I had been trapped, that he did not want to help me at all. I felt cheated, humiliated”. “I almost quit the job thinking it was going like this”she also assures.
Among the other testimonies collected by Mediapart, a former RMC employee says she received a sexual proposal from Jean-Jacques Bourdin about fifteen years ago, just after announcing his resignation. During a dinner at the restaurant with part of the morning team, the presenter would have offered to go to a swingers club with him. She assures that nothing in her behavior could have led to think that she would be eager to maintain this type of relationship with him.
Colleagues exposed to messages with a sexual connotation
In the 2010s, Jean-Jacques Bourdin used his official Twitter account to exchange sexual messages with young women, reveals Mediapart. A practice which is obviously not prohibited if the two parties are of legal age and consent. On the other hand, this very followed account was also used by community managers, responsible for distributing content on social networks. “Either because private messaging was left open, or because messages or notifications were displayed live, at least six journalists were (…) witnessed” of these conversations where the presenter exchanged, for example, on his favorite sexual practices, reports Mediapart.
Gold, the Labor Code provides that an employer must ensure the protection of its staff against any type of danger, including against exposure to unsolicited sexual content. Justice has already sanctioned “ambient sexual harassment”, due to the exposure of employees to “jokes” or sexist insults, or even suggestive images.