France: Russian artist and partner held over political sex tape | News | DW | 16.02.2020
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France: Russian artist and partner held over political sex tape

The release of a sex tape that ended the mayoral ambitions of a Macron ally has led to the arrest of a Russian artist and his partner. The artist said he shared the images to fight political "hypocrisy."

French police arrested a couple implicated in the leaking of a sex tape that ended the Paris mayoral bid of an ally of President Emmanuel Macron.

Russian protest artist Piotr Pavlensky, who lives in exile in France, on Friday confirmed that he had posted the sex video, saying it was a fight against political "hypocrisy."

Read moreRussian artist arrested after torching doors of intelligence agency headquarters

He is best-known for his self-mutilating and vandalizing art performances, including nailing his scrotum to the ground in Moscow's Red Square and setting fire to a door at the headquarters of Russia's state security agency.

The prosecutor's office said Pavlensky had been arrested and held for questioning on Saturday afternoon regarding another case, according to France 24 News.

Pavlensky's partner, the alleged recipient of the original videos, was also placed in police custody on Saturday evening for "invasion of privacy" and "dissemination of sexual images without consent."

End of mayoral bid

Griveaux abandoned his bid to become mayor on Friday after he allegedly sent images of his genitals to a woman who was not his wife. He subsequently filed a complaint with police.

French revenge porn law stipulates that the publishing of pornographic images without the consent of the originator is punishable by up to two years in prison and a €60,000 ($65,000) fine.

Macron's centrist party is now looking for a replacement candidate for the mayoral poll, which is only a month away.

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