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British journalist says she was victim of paedophile Gabriel Matzneff
A second woman has broken her silence about being groomed and studybay controlled by the disgraced French paedophile writer Gabriel Matzneff.
Journalist Francesca Gee said she was in a relationship for three years with Matzneff in the 1970s, with the then 37-year-old essayist waiting outside her school every day for her when she was 15.
Gee and the often explicit letters the diarist encouraged her to write featured in a number of Matzneff's books against her will including his notorious defence of paedophilia, 'Les Moins de Seize Ans', which translates as 'The Under 16s'.
Gee (pictured) says she wrote a book exposing Matzneff in 2004 but that no French publisher would print it. She claims that an editor at Grasset said the subject was 'sensitive' and Matzneff had influential friends at the publishing house
He even boasted in his diaries, which were regularly published, of having her moved to a prestigious Paris high school so she could be close to him.
Gee said that she had been a victim of 'his predatory behaviour' and had tried unsuccessfully for decades to stop one of his publishers, Gallimard, using a picture of her on the cover of his book, 'Drunk on Lost Wine'.
Gallimard has since pulled all Matzneff's books from sale.
The essayist occupied a niche role in the French literature world and won the Renaudot essay prize in 2013. Matzneff has previously boasted in his diaries of having Gee moved to a prestigious Paris high school so she could be closer to him
The 83-year-old has never made any secret of his sexual preference for adolescent girls and boys.
It did not stop him winning the Renaudot prize in 2013 and being honoured by the French state.
He occupied a privilege niche in the French literary world until January when attitudes toward the writer changed radically after publisher Vanessa Springora revealed her own tortured under-age relationship with him in her bestseller, 'Consent'.
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Matzneff - who fled to Italy after the scandal broke - is to stand trail next year on a charge of justifying paedophilia, and prosecutors launched a rape investigation into him the day after Springora's book was published.
Gee, now 63, told the New York Times that she had exposed Matzneff in a book she had written in 2004 but which no French publisher would print.
Paris prosecutors opened a rape investigation into Matzneff in January this year after publisher Vanessa Springora revealed her own under-age relationship with him in the bestseller 'Consent'. Matzneff fled to Italy after the scandal broke
She wrote: 'He never stopped using me to justify his sexual exploitation of children and teenagers'.
Gallimard, one of Matzneff's publishers, has pulled all of his books from sale. Gee says she tried unsuccessfully for decades to stop them using a picture of her on the cover of his book, 'Drunk on Lost Wine'
A number of editors who had read the manuscript at the time praised its quality but told the newspaper that 'clearly it was 15 years too early. The world wasn't ready yet.'
An editor at Grasset, which published Springora's 'Consent' but turned down Gee's earlier book, said the subject was 'sensitive' and Matzneff had influential friends at the publishing house.
Gee, a former journalist, said that Matzneff took her to see gynaecologist Michele Barzach half a dozen times in the 1970s to get contraceptive pills while she was a minor.
Barzach went on to become a French health minister and head of the country's arm of UN's child protection agency, UNICEF.
The Matzneff controversy has shone a light on what many see a permissive attitude towards sexual harassment and abuse in France. Matzneff had described acts of paedophilia in detail in his books. In a diary published in 1985 he wrote that he would regularly have sex with underage boys whilst in the Philippines
She also later helped draft a law tightening French child abuse laws in 1985.
The Matzneff controversy has shone a light on what many see as an overly permissive attitude towards sexual harassment and abuse in France.
The writer claimed that his initiation of young women into sex, art and literature had left them happier and freer.
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