French Culture Minister Refuses to Resign Over Paid Sex Trysts

The culture minister is facing growing calls for his ouster stemming from a 2005 autobiography in which he admitted to paying for sex with “young boys” in Thailand.

Comments: 30

  1. “I don’t see why he can’t stay in the government, and I don’t see why we dredge up such a pathetic polemic after such a long time,” Henri Guaino said of Mr. Mitterrand on France 2 television. “Is he on trial, has he committed a crime?”

    Is he on trial? No, but he certainly should be. Did he commit a crime? Yes, unless pedophilia, prostitution and child rape have somehow become legal. Or if simply addressing these dispicable acts becomes known as "pathetic polemic".

    But as we learned when Barney Frank escaped unfazed after running a homosexual brothel out of his apartment, he'll walk away from this one. Glib wordsmiths will write it off as "pathetic polemic"...and undoubtedly, politically motivated.

  2. Every child molester does some favor to his prey. Since, the French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand paid to young boys to have sex has flagrantly violated code of ethics in a state laws,and which attributes him a child molester. He should therefore resign from his post immediately, or the president should kick him out of his cabinet.

  3. Any evidence of child abuse by Mitterrand should be ground for his dismissal, for starters. But that does not seem to be the case here. The newspaper "Le Monde" publishes today the incriminating extract of Mitterrand's autobiographical book. The rather graphic description makes it very clear that, while he paid for sex, his partner was "almost as tall as he" and "built like a thai boxer".

  4. So much for French culture...

  5. Sorta a deja vue all over again moment...ever hear of 'let them eat cake.' The French cultural elite have nothing on Woddy Allen...

  6. This polemic has been created by the Front National, a nationalist party. The traditional weapon of this kind of party is the slander. The far-right leader Marine Le Pen admitted herself that she had added the word "young" before "boys", about the men Mr Mitterrand had sex with. If you read the book of Mr Mitterrand (few people did, but many condemn him), you won't find any praise of pedophilie. This polemic is unfair and full of hatred, and should not deserve more than our silence.

  7. I wonder how Hollywood will spin this? What is the average American to think of Hollywood and French elites so fervently advocating for rapists and pedophiles?

  8. The Prime Minister's aide asks "Has he committed a crime?" Does that mean that in France paying young boys to serve as sex slaves is not considered a crime? How could anybody in their right mind come to this man's defense?

  9. Ah, yes. French-bashing by the morally unblemished, upright America. When in doubt, just blame the French. God knows they deserve it, they eat better, live better and actually tend to be more educated and (God forbid) "cultured" than your basic American Joe. I suppose no one in America has ever paid for sex (of any kind) and all the ones that have, went directly to jail and/or hell. BTW, the "garçons" he paid for sex were not children. But what the heck, let's hang him anyway.

  10. Even assuming that the word "young" was not part of the original text, what about Mr. Mitterand's love of the "slave market" for sex? Hard to interpret that in any way that's not utterly repellent, to say the least.

  11. Many straight people are unaware that gay men use the terms "boy" and "boys" very loosely; almost all of the time they are referring to someone 18 years and older, quite often a good deal older.

    Seems I remember a few years ago the US Navy discharged a submarine veteran after they discovered his online gay identity was "hotboy" - the man was 35.

    In the US with our Puritanical Exceptionalism, Mr. Mitterand would have been political toast four years ago, but I suspect he's only guilty of buying male prostitutes. The French will hopefully forgive him as we should have forgiven Eliot Spitzer.

  12. It is sad to see that the confusion between homosexuality, pedophilia, and prostitution is still vivid in the brain of many readers of NYTimes.

  13. To the previous poster who says the "young boys" he paid to have sex with were not children... And you know this how? I am one of the first to say that Americans tend to be over the top when it comes to sex but we all know that the sex trade in Thailand is for children. This French Minister had probably done it for so long that it seemed normal to him. If he just needed a sex partner then why travel to Thailand when I am certain there were plenty in France. Polanski has finally gotten what he deserved, it just took 30 years for it to happen!

  14. I remember how the French government laughed at Bill Clinton, not for his misconduct but for being indiscreet about it.
    Guess the shoe's on the other foot now.

  15. Quite disgusting. Arrest sounds better than resignation. Only European relativisim would allow him to be selected for a cabinet level post to begin with.

  16. In a world that's vastly overpopulated with people, procreative human sexual activity should be discouraged, and all other adult sexual activity, if consentual or individual, should be judged according to aesthetic standards only.

  17. What is sickening about all this has nothing to do with France or homosexuality. It is the self entitlement of the rich and elitist who have no issue to exploit minors in a foreign country who are too poor to live normal lives. So out of desperation, they become a part of an industry they most will never get out of. Ofcourse, to people like Mitterand, I am sure they think they are doing these poor souls a favor However, to the rest of the normal and civilized world, the Mitterands, Polanskis, & Gary Glitters of this world should be defended. They should be despised.

  18. davyboy in Paris seems to have forgotten that this human slug had castigated America in the first instance for trying to bring a child rapist to justice. And by the way, we may be less than "morally unblemished and upright", but we've hauled French ashes out of the fire twice in the last hundred years at great expense in American life and treasure. In my mind, gratitude is sorely lacking.

  19. "Only European relativisim would allow him to be selected for a cabinet level post to begin with."

    I think his name might have had a little something to do with it.

  20. People like this make me sick. Sadly he is product of what possibly happened to him as a child.

  21. Mr Mitterrand wrote a sincere book based on his life and personnel struggles 4 years ago that got very good reviews in France. He did not commit any crime. Homosexual does not mean pedophile. Literature is not meant to be politically correct. Is it a crime to write about taboos? What a bunch of sanctimonious readers! Where is the open spirit of the NYT readers? Let's stress that this ugly and sterile polemic was started by the far right.

  22. The ages of the males with whom he had sex must be determined before we condemn or defend him.

  23. To post #4 John in Louisville: so when an individual does something it represents the entire group? If that is the case, so much for republican virtue.

  24. If you can read French, the excerpt from his book makes it very clear he was not molesting schoolboys but was having sex with a male prostitute who was "built like those kickboxing champions who can knock you out cold".

    Before going on a rant against the French (or anyone else), a bit of skepticism never hurts. Remember "Nancy Pelosi Eats Babies" from the Colbert Report?

  25. If you can put your prejudices aside for a minute the excerpt from his book is rather interesting insider's view of sex tourism (which I do not condone but that's not the point).

  26. I'm not French and I'm not gay, but contrary to the NY Times journalist who wrote this, and contrary to my fellow 'commentators', I actually do read, write and speak french quite fluently. (That kind of helps when discussing a french novel, doesn't it?) First of all, there is no mention whatsoever of 'young boys' in the text (except for the interpretation made my madame LePen, head of France's dwindling xenophobic and gay bashing Front National), only of 'garçons', which to someone who only knows the french language from the dictionnary means 'boys' indeed; but in the homosexual community 'garçons' simply means 'men'. (And yes, the fictional character in the book has paid for sex with men, and yes, Mr Mitterand has called that improper.)

    Now how about a NY Times article about ignorants teaching morals to the world?

  27. The so called Minister of Culture has learned a universal truth. One can not throw mud if one bathes in it. How can a man so covered in mud and slime be outraged about anything.

  28. I am getting sick of hearing all those sex scandals. Every few days there is a new revelation about somebody’s sexual impropriety. Life in the West become so dull and boring that looks like everybody who has money, fame and/or power needs unusual sexual pursuit to find thrill in life. I say send those types to fight in Afghanistan where there would be no shortage of thrill. If they get killed or maimed, society would not lose much.

  29. The only question is: what was the age of his partners? If you read the full extracts from the book (not just the few sentences quoted by the extrem right wing politician who started the polemic), it is clear that those who are referred as "boys" are adults prostitutes. If no proof that Mitterrand had sex with minors is brought, there is no crime.

  30. There is no sex scandal. The guy wrote a sincere confession in his book years before being a government official. Old news used as smear. This reminds me when Obama was said to have been "palling around with terrorists". For some people, it's just what they want to hear.