"I decided to resign my duties and mandates to the city of Le Havre and to the urban community. This decision, well thought out, was imposed on me because of the need to protect my family and loved ones, "said the mayor of Le Havre in a statement.
Luc Lemonnier, 50 years old and father of four children, had replaced in May 2017 the current Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, of which he is close, at the head of the port city of more than 170.000 inhabitants. Questioned by AFP, Matignon did not wish to comment.
The Prime Minister received these compromising photos
In June 2018, he filed a complaint for defamation and dissemination of photos of him naked to city councilors and Edouard Philippe. According to his lawyer, Mr. Christian Saint-Palais, this complaint was dismissed and the person at the origin of the facts received a reminder of the law. "City councilors were recipients of a photo of the naked mayor accompanied by a text that lent the mayor behaviors he denied," said Saint-Palais. The prosecutor's office of Le Havre refused to comment on this case.
Questioned Tuesday by France Bleu Normandie, the woman who had sent these photos assured to have wanted, by his gesture, to denounce the clichés sent by the mayor himself two years ago.
"I felt like I was alone, nobody wanted to hear me and for me, it was a rape actually," she told the radio, wishing to remain anonymous. "It was complicated, I made a suicide attempt. I have been married for over 20 years, I have children, I am fulfilled in my life as a couple, I was not at all in a game of seduction, "she says, adding to have wanted to complain but that it had been "complicated".
The city of Le Havre, a symbolic stake for the next municipal
Luc Lemonnier "was shocked and hurt by this interview. The presentation that is made does not correspond to the reality of the facts. The words used hurt and shocked him, "said Saint-Palais. In a statement Wednesday, the mayor had denied "categorically the behaviors that are lent to him". "The exchange of messages he was able to participate in was part of virtual communications exclusive of any constraint and between consenting adults," he said.
The affair was closely followed in recent days in Matignon, where the resignation of the successor of Edouard Philippe raises questions in view of municipal 2020, the city of Le Havre being a symbolic stake for the majority.