French prosecutors opened an investigation this week following allegations made by reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke. She says Giscard d’Estaing, now 94, has repeatedly touched her from behind in his Paris office after an interview in 2018.
Giscard d’Estaing was president from 1974 to 1981 when he lost the re-election of François Mitterrand. “President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is very upset and hurt by Ms. Stracke’s allegation of sexual assault, of which he remembers nothing,” his lawyer Jean-Marc Fedida said in a statement.
The lawyer, who gave Giscard d’Estaing’s first official response to the case, said the former president had decided not to “feed the polemic” by speaking out on the matter.
According to the statement, Giscard d’Estaing is confident in the French legal system and has instructed his lawyer to take all necessary measures against “defamatory attacks that would damage his honor.”
Stracke, 37, told AFP news agency last week that she had filed a complaint against the former leader, claiming that he put his hands on her butt three times while they posed together for a photo in December 2018, when he was 92.
“I decided to tell my story because I think people should know that a French former president sexually harassed me after an interview,” said Stracke, journalist for German public television WDR.
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