Hélène Devynck returns to the PPDA issue in her book Impunity

Hélène Devynck, who accuses presenter Patrick Poivre d’Arvor of rape, publishes her book Impunity Editions du Seuil. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

In her book published by Editions du Seuil, the journalist immerses the reader in the sexual violence that she and other women say they have suffered at the hands of the former TF1 news anchor. She was the guest of “La Grande Librairie” on September 21.

His face was among those of the alleged victims of Patrick Poivre d’Arvoron the cover of Release released last November. With the support of 8 other women, including Cécile Delarue, Muriel Reus and Aude Darlet, Hélène Devynck then openly testified about the violation that he would have suffered in 1993 for the star presenter of TF1’s JT. “I remember a physical immobility and a panic of thoughts, of having mentally searched with all my strength for a solution to get out of there, without finding it,” she recalled for the newspaper.

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A year later, the journalist tells her version of the story in a book called Impunity, which will be published on September 23 by Editions du Seuil, in which the reader is immersed in a chilling story, as well as that of the other alleged victims of PPDA (23 women in total). A forceful book through which he also points out the entire misogynistic and discriminatory system specific to TF1.

“Sisters of Misery”

“All of France knows his name and his face, but not ours,” he declared, this Wednesday, September 21, in front of Augustin Trapenard on France 5’s “La Grande Librairie” program.. Hélène Devynck accuses the PPDA of having raped her in her home when she was only 24 years old. If she has been silent for almost twenty-eight years, the former JT editor ends her silence in 2021, after her romance broke out with the first testimony of Florencia Porcel. She will be followed by twenty-one women. A première enquête will be classée sans suite in juin 2021. «On a eu l’impression qu’on nous mettait à la poubelle, comme si on n’avait pas parlé, comme si on n’avait rien fait», explain-t- she.

If I hadn’t worked on TF1, I wouldn’t have been raped.

helen devinck

About the pages that build your book ImpunityHélène Devynck returns to the PPDA issue, recalling all these stories of women, these actions modus operandi it is still very similar. Furthermore, he thoroughly attacks the television channel that allowed this trivialization of impunity. In front of Augustin Trapenard, he explains bluntly: “If I hadn’t worked at TF1, they wouldn’t have raped me. It wasn’t protected.” Hélène Devynck denounces the culture of silence full of sexism, which was expressed “in the air and in writing”. “The harassment was not named, we talked about flirting (…) I have the impression of having done a giant slalom each time to avoid this or that person,” continues the journalist in “La Grande Librería”.

During her visit to France Inter, this Thursday, September 22, the journalist remarkably returned to the “plateau coup”, a well-known ploy of the victims of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor. “He invited a young woman to the newspaper, she explained to Léa Salamé’s microphone. He put her in front of him on set, then took her to her office and jumped on her. A tactic carried out “several times a week for 35 years”, told in unison by all the women heard in the PPDA affair.

The threat of defamation

The author also evokes the “threat of defamation that hangs over each one of her words”. “I cannot prove that Patrick Poivre d’Arvor raped me. I never can. The facts are prescribed. They will never be judged,” she wrote in Impunity. But since her speech, Hélène Devynck says that she is collapsing under the criticism of her detractors and ardent defenders of her shit. “They told me that she did this to come out in the open, that she was a plover’s head, a ‘starfuckeuse,'” she describes, evoking that “cultural impregnation that makes us mistrust women who speak.” A “quasi-automatic” reflex.

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Nonetheless, Impunity it continues to be a choral, collective work, imbued with brotherhood. A literary work addressed to these “sisters of misery”, with the aim of “serving”, and one. Hélène Devynck also recounts well this day in the year 2021, where she and the other 22 women who accuse Patrick Poivre d’Arvor finally met at a dinner party. “For the first time, she says, we feel safe.”

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