Ignoring the crimes of our intellectual elite
#MeToo has finally come for Gabriel Matzneff, said Marie-Estelle Pech. The 83-year-old French author has been writing and talking about his sexual relationships with teenage boys and girls for decades. In the 1970s, he published a notorious essay titled The Under-16s, and on TV appearances he made no secret of his sex tourism trips to Asia, where he preyed on young boys. In a 1990 talk show appearance—footage of which is now being shared widely online—Matzneff explained that he preferred innocent girls because he had no success with jaded women of 25. These confessions “offended nobody in the literary and journalistic world” at the time. Matzneff was even given a yearly public stipend to live on, because his works, though they never sold well, were considered to have “contributed to the influence of French-language literature.” Today, though, we are looking at Matzneff with new eyes. One of his alleged victims, Vanessa Springora, now 47, has just published Consent, a memoir that details how Matzneff groomed and overpowered her when she was 14 and he was in his 50s. The Paris prosecutor last week opened a statutory rape investigation against Matzneff. Will this self-proclaimed pedophile spend his final years behind bars?