PPDA complaint for “slanderous denunciation”: “This procedure is done to silence us”, says journalist Cécile Delarue

“We don’t lie, what we say, we maintain it”, reacted Cécile Delarue, journalist and author, in charge of communication for the #MeTooMedias collective, Thursday April 28 on franceinfo. She is one of the 16 complainants who accuse Patrick Poivre d’Arvor of violence or sexual harassment and against whom the former TF1 presenter filed a complaint on Tuesday for “slanderous denunciation“.

franceinfo: PPDA is filing a complaint against you. How did you find out and what was your first reaction?

Cecile Delarue: I learned about it from the press. I think that’s the case with all other women. I was obviously shocked. We did not testify to find ourselves then accused of lies and, a priori, this complaint is not the first of PPDA. That’s what we learned. There are several, including one that has already been dismissed without us being informed. For the moment, I have not been officially notified that I had been sued by PPDA, but I know that I am on the list.

The PPDA lawyer explains that “the objective is not to silence the complainants”, but “to prevent the same lies from being repeated without contradiction”, what do you answer?

I am overwhelmed. The accusation of lying is completely delusional. We don’t lie. What we say, we maintain. I am surrounded by women who have suffered extremely difficult things. I remind you that there are still 6 complaints of rape. These are 16 women who all tell very different testimonies, that these testimonies overlap and differ. All these women did not know each other. They all spontaneously went to talk to the police quietly. Most of these women are anonymous, they absolutely did not seek to speak in the media. Moreover, these complaints could have been made in an extremely discreet way if Patrick Poivre d’Arvor had not gone to place this question on the media court, by going on TV to supposedly defend himself against us. We don’t want media justice. What we are asking for is justice and I think this procedure is designed to silence us. To tell us to be quiet, to tell the women who were victims of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, but also to women in general, that it is better to be quiet than to go there.

Are you ready to go today to this slanderous denunciation trial and face the man you accuse and who accuses you back?

I am ready, yes. Me, I decided to testify when I learned that Florence Porcel, who is the first to have filed a complaint, filed a complaint for rape. This woman, whom I did not know, had very strong accusations and I recognized in these accusations testimony that I had already heard from former colleagues when I was at TF1. I believed her right away. I said to myself that I had witnessed things or participated in things that were wrong, that there was a system that was wrong at TF1, at least at the time, and that I had to do my civic duty by going to talk to the police.

Do you regret today?

I do not regret. I think this is also the case for other women. I do not represent them all but we are part of the MeTooMedias association which was created after this action. So yes, obviously we would like not to be prosecuted, but if we have to be prosecuted, if we have to go to court, obviously we will. Especially since certain testimonies are prescribed, there we are given access to justice. The problem we have is when the facts are not prescribed, the women do not dare to file a complaint and I do not think that the action of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor will help them to go there. We want to reassure them, tell them to trust justice. You will be heard. You will be able to obtain justice, then not necessarily completely, because we know that in cases of rape, there are still very few cases where the rapists are convicted, but at least to be able to have their word heard in a court of law .

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