The writer Frédéric Beigbeder was placed in police custody on Tuesday, December 12, for several hours to be heard on “acts of rape,” which he disputes, before being released, announced the Pau prosecutor’s office, which will prosecute his investigations.

Summoned to the Pau police station, the 58-year-old novelist was questioned after a complaint filed in July by a woman “for acts of rape,” wrote the public prosecutor, Rodolphe Jarry, in a press release. The prosecutor specified that the author “contested the facts with which he was accused”.

According to a source close to the investigation cited by Agence France-Presse, the writer, who lives with his family in the Basque Country, would have maintained a relationship with the complainant “for several months”. According to information from FranceInfo, the complaint was filed by this young woman who claims to have had a first consensual sexual relationship with Frédéric Beigbeder, then a second non-consensual one, during the same night in a hotel room.

After the release of his police custody at the end of the afternoon, the preliminary investigation must continue, including acts “requested by the counsel of Frédéric Beigbeder”, adds the prosecution.

“In order to preserve future investigations, my prosecution does not intend, as it stands, to provide further details on the facts considered,” wrote Mr. Jarry, recalling the principle of the “presumption of innocence” of which Frédéric Beigbeder must benefit.

Controversial literary figure

The television and radio columnist, literary critic, editor, comic book and film scriptwriter, actor and even director, became known to the general public with his novel 99 Francs (2000) where he reveals the turpitudes – cocaine, cynicism, money – from the advertising world.

In the midst of the Metoo wave, the former editorial director of Lui magazine was criticized for his inaction in the Patrick Poivre d’Arvor affair, as well as his support for Roman Polanski in the face of what he described as a ” pack of freewheeling hyenas” at the 2020 Césars. Without forgetting his late condemnation of the actions of his “friend” Gabriel Matzneff, accused of rape of minors.

In 2023, the author was also widely criticized for his book Confessions of a Slightly Outdated Heterosexual, in which he makes fun of himself as a has-been fifty-year-old. Accused of machismo, he had to be subject to police protection.

A long-time subscriber to the news and celebrity sections of magazines, Frédéric Beigbeder had already briefly had dealings with the law in 2008. At the time, he had been arrested in the heart of Paris for consumption and possession of cocaine. The writer, an unsuccessful candidate for the French Academy last year, made his mea culpa in June 2022 in a column in L’Obs, where he said he had “said goodbye to coke”, which had become “an old man’s drug”. nerdy”, and “write light, sober and on an empty stomach”.

A few months ago, he claimed to have now “completely changed his life” in his Basque haven of Guéthary (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), where he has lived since 2017 with his third wife and their two young children.