Thursday, October 8, 2009
The French culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, last night faced calls for his resignation over an autobiography published four years ago in which he described paying “young boys” for sex while travelling abroad.
Mitterrand was the first major political figure to leap to the defence of the film director Roman Polanski when he was arrested in Switzerland last month facing deportation to the United States for having had sex with a 13-year-old girl there in 1977.
Mitterrand’s impassioned comments in support of Polanski, who had initially faces charges of rape, and against an “a frightening America”, were controversial and the French government eventually distanced itself.
But Mitterrand’s critics on the political extreme right and the left have now questioned his suitability for office over his self-confessed penchant for “young boys” in Bangkok.
In his bestselling autobiographical work, The Bad Life, published in 2005, Mitterrand describes travelling round Thailand, confessing: “I got into the habit of paying for boys”.
He wrote of his attraction to young male prostitutes despite knowing “the sordid details” of the sex trade. “All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously … the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.”
Full story here.