Frederic Mitterrand, French Minister, Fights For Job After Boasts Of Sex With Young Boys
John Lichfield | The Independent
The new French culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, is fighting to save his brief ministerial career after opposition politicians expressed disgust at his autobiography, in which he justified sex tourism and admitted "paying for boys".
Mr Mitterrand, 62, the nephew of the late president, François Mitterrand, was thrown on to the defensive after rival MPs homed in on memoirs in which he described his delight in visiting Asian brothels.
The revelations, in his 2005 best-seller La Mauvaise Vie (The Bad Life), were unearthed by far-right politicians angered by his outspoken defence of the film director Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland for extradition to Los Angeles to face charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Socialists from the party created by Mr Mitterrand's uncle also voiced outrage and suggested that his three-month tenure as Culture minister should be brought to an abrupt end.
The furore is deeply embarrassing for Nicolas Sarkozy, who claimed to have struck a blow for "political openness" when he brought Mr Mitterrand, who is openly gay, into his centre-right government in June. The choice was reportedly influenced by the President's wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who has been trying to broaden the her husband's cultural horizons.
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