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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Writer Gabriel Matzneff: France's Proud Pedophile

     For the past fifty years or so, Gabriel Matzneff, now 85, was one of France's most celebrated, renowned, and admired writers. He won several prestigious literary awards and state honors for his novels, essays, and nonfiction books. Presidents of France praised Matzneff for his deep, original thought and highly creative writing style. Literary critics in France and throughout Europe agreed.

     What is unusual, indeed shocking, about Matzneff's status as a literary icon is how, in his books and essays, and on his official web site, he flaunts and writes about his adventures as a predatory pedophile. For example, in Matzneff's infamous 1974 essay, Les Moins deSieze Ans (Those Under 16), Matzneff describes in great detail his seduction of pre-adolescent boys and 14-year-old girls. He also chronicles his regular trips to the Philippines to pick up young boys for sex.

     In Matzneff's diaries, published in 1985, he writes: "Sometimes, I'll have as many as four boys--from 8 to 14--in my bed.

     The Paris police, in 1986, launched a half-hearted investigation into anonymous tips that the 50-year-old literary giant was living with a 14-year-old girl named Vanessa Springora. To avoid being questioned about his relationship with the girl, Matzneff and Springora moved into another apartment, a hideout provided by the fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent.

     In accordance with the French acceptance of pedophilia, and the desire to protect the country's most valuable literary treasure, the authorities quickly closed the Matzneff investigation. Everyone knew Matzneff was a pedophile, yet no one cared, or had the courage to bring this famous and powerful man to justice.

     Gabriel Matzneff's charmed life of privilege and exemption from criminal prosecution suddenly collapsed in January 2020 with the publication of Vanessa Springora's memoir, Le Consentement (The Consent). The memoir tells the story of her life with the famous pedophile.

     On a French television program featuring her memoir, Springora, a Paris publishing house director, said, "My goal was to lock him [Matzneff] up in a book, because that's what he has done to me and that's what he did with many young girls."

     Following the publication of her tell-all memoir, Springora met with a prosecutor in Paris named Remy Heitz who informed her he was interested in prosecuting the famous writer for his crimes against children.

     On February 11, 2020, prosecutor Heitz announced the commencement of an investigation into the alleged sexual crimes of Gabriel Matzneff. Perhaps this meant that in France, law enforcement authorities had finally decided to prosecute pedophiles. However, in the case of an eighty-three-year-old self described sex offender, this new enforcement policy was more than a little late.

     The Paris prosecutor's office, on February 11, issued a summons ordering Mr. Matzneff to appear the following day in court. The great writer, hiding out somewhere in the Italian Riviera, ignored the summons.

     In March 2020, after decades of sexual crimes allegedly involving hundreds of victims, Gabriel Matzneff was charged with sexually abusing an unidentified youth. The prosecutor, in an Europe 1 Radio interview, said, "We will seek to identify other possible victims who could have suffered violations of the same nature, on national territory or abroad."

     In the wake of Vanessa Springora's memoir, the French government stripped Matzneff of his state literary awards that included The Order of National Merit, and Officer of Arts and Letters. His publisher of 30 years, Gallimard, after profiting decades on the works of a proud pedophile, stopped selling his books.

     Matzneff, not accustomed to being treated like a sex offender, agreed to an interview with a reporter with The New York Times. In the March 2020 Times piece, the French literary great lamented that his former supporters had not come forward on his behalf. He said he felt "like the living dead, a dead man walking." Regarding his former literary colleagues and admirers, Matzneff said, "They're showing their cowardice. We can say caution, but it's more than caution from people I considered friends." 

     The Gabriel Matzneff pedophilia trial was scheduled for September 2020.
     As of January 2022, Matzneff, who is not in custody, has not been tried for the sexual abuse of minors. In all probability the case will be closed, and the famous writer will avoid prosecution due to the statute of limitations. 

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