The Héraultaise Margot Cauquil-Gleizes, a 53-year-old teacher, is one of the plaintiffs awaiting trial against the former star presenter.
At the beginning of the Poivre d’Arvor case, the Héraultaise Margot Cauquil-Gleizes, 53, did not want to leave anonymity. She agreed to testify, in March 2021, in support of the complaint filed by the writer Florencia Porcel against the former TF1 star presenter. He described to the police a sexual assault and especially a rape, 36 years later, that he had not yet identified in his mind.
The native of Biterroise, now a professor of plastic arts in Paris, has just decided, in mid-September, to file a complaint for these two cases. Even if they are, a priori, prescribed (read elsewhere). She chose to express herself in Midi Libre to bring loud and clear the fight led by the group of plaintiffs with this objective: to achieve a trial. PPDA, denies en bloc, and has filed complaints for slander, in particular against Mrs. Cauquil-Gleizes.
Why is she speaking today?
“I want them to listen to us and believe us. Being all together gives us credibility. I didn’t know any of them a year ago, I couldn’t have, it’s a collective force.” Today he risks revealing himself publicly: “Removing anonymity is complicated, I am a teacher, but parents, students and the hierarchy are benevolent, my family and my relatives too, like my two children.”
The meeting with Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, autumn 1984
“Call my parents around 9 at night,” says the one who grew up in Bassan, near Béziers, until she came of age. There, in 1984, at the age of 16, the author of a collection of existential reflections, she had written to the journalist to ask for advice: “He answered me quickly… My mother picked up and flattered me: “Mr. Patrick Poivre d’Arvor wants to talk with you.” At that time, we saw 8 p.m. every night, religiously, I was not allowed to talk at the table.
He tells me he’d be happy if I could send him my texts and he also asks what underwear I’m wearing… I’m uncomfortable, I tell him I can’t answer, it’s kinky, but I’m impressed. with the character.
The reported rape in a hotel in Sète, spring 1985
Weeks go by, correspondence and telephone relations continue. She receives two PDDA cards written in the purple ink that she likes. She “she told me that I was gifted, that she was going to publish me… It is the hypnotizing snake”. Until May 1985 when the star presenter joined Sète for a literary event. The appointment is made at the Grand Hotel. She thinks to present her texts, the receptionist tells her that Poivre d’Arvor is waiting for her in her room.
Everything goes very fast: “He opens the door for me, I see a small room, I wonder where we are going to sit, he greets me, miss, he takes me immediately, bends me over the bed, undresses.” he undresses me, he penetrates me and it lasts five minutes, I am in a state of astonishment, I did not know this word then, I had a wedding ring on my thumb, he hits his ring against mine and tells me: me: “above all don’t get married very young”. She goes to take a shower telling me: “now I have dates”. I dress mechanically and go.” The PPDA, in its hearings, has always questioned the lack of consent.
Anne becomes Margot
His existence changes. She doesn’t tell anyone and she decides to call herself Margot and not Anne anymore. “So I had difficulty building myself,” she analyzes herself after a few seconds of reflection. “There is denial, I don’t tell anyone, not even the psychiatrist who follows me, I want to forget, hide this dirt. Depression comes a few months later. Now I understand that she was linked to this episode. I changed my first name, as if I wanted to change my skin, put on a better dress, my soul hurts. I tell myself that Margot is my warrior name, with “OT” at the end, like taking something creepy away.”
The book where they compare it to a lobster
The young woman keeps in episodic contact with the journalist who, in 1988, publishes her book “Las mujeres de mi vida”. “He had asked me for permission to publish one of my letters, and I accepted… I am in denial, we continue to have exchanges, we meet, we never talk about this meeting in Sète,” she explains. But in this book, the passage dedicated to her resonates ominously today: Margot is compared to “a lobster”, to grab “thumb and forefinger behind the pliers” so that she no longer fidgets and “purrs”.
The post does not offend anyone. Until this summer of 2022 when the Héraultaise is alerted by their fellow unfortunate members of the collective. “I realized about two months ago… When I reread the passage, it’s scary, it’s like it describes rape in a very colorful way, I thought to myself that this is crazy, he even dares to say it. …And to say that with everything we described, there was no psychiatric expertise for him…”
The request for a “small gift” after 8 pm
There is a second meeting between Patrick Poivre d’Arvor and Margot Cauquil-Gleizes who has just finished the Montpellier School of Fine Arts, in 1992. She is looking for an internship in set design, she contacts him. “I was still in denial, I told myself it would be nice if he helped me,” she told us. The journalist invites her to the 8 p.m. set and then leaves for dinner.
“There’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, charming when he launches the topics then obnoxious with his teams, he changes his face. I waited 20 minutes for him to do his diary report and he arrives. He leaves his notes, I get up,” he tells me : “good night, nice to see you again”, leans his buttocks on the desk and tells me, like a man-child, with a little pout: “Oh, listen, the diary has been very stressful for me, I am very tense, won’t you give me a little present? As he unbuttons his pants.
There, the Sète event comes back to me, I tell myself that it is not possible, he is a great patient. I tell him no, he insists: “Come on, just a very small gift”, I raise my voice but no one comes, he changes his face and says “in that case, good night”. I feel humiliated, stupid for having come.” The journalist stated during the hearing that he did not remember this meeting.
Why did she keep going out with him?
Why did so many whistleblowers continue to date the star? “He said I wasn’t under the influence, he was in a dominant position anyway because he was extremely well known,” she replies. “And then he still has to be aware that he has been raped. Thanks to the police, the older man received me very well, in March 2021, I finally understood when he told me: ‘Yes, ma’am, you have been raped’ because there is the notion of surprise.
As I did not resist, I feel guilty, I am ashamed and I shut up. There is denial, we invented this horrible event to survive. It is also a question of education, it could no longer happen today to very informed young women, they should have told me: “you never go up to a stranger’s room, even if it is PPDA”.
How to live the “prescription” status
The click occurs when he sees PPDA on television responding to Florencia Porcel’s accusations. She decides to declare in this case that she has been dismissed. “I am prescribed, our fight is to move the lines, the law, if we succeed, it would be our victory.” Waiting for a possible judicial rebound, Margot Cauquil-Gleizes, is relieved. “I’m finally proud. Of all of us, I say this with a big smile. I think he will open the eyelids of those who still want to close their eyes.”
And Helen’s book (in which his story is told Editor’s note), it will be a milestone, it is an impressive book
Hélène Devynck publishes this Friday, September 23 “Impunit” (Threshold), with the story of 23 complainants including hers.