The Paris prosecutor’s office closed yesterday the investigation against the French political scientist Olivier Duhamel for incest, since the facts have prescribed, announced the public prosecutor, Rémy Heitz. Duhamel, who acknowledged abusing his stepson in the 1980s, was under investigation for rape of a minor.
The case came to light in January with the publication of the book “La familia grande” (Seuil publishing house) by lawyer Camille Kouchner, daughter of former French minister Bernard Kouchner and Duhamel’s stepdaughter. The book broke the law of silence on incest in France and sparked a wave of complaints in the country.
Kouchner reported in her book that her stepfather sexually abused her twin brother, whom she calls “Victor” in the book, when he was 14 years old. The sexual abuse would have lasted about two years.
The brothers kept this family secret for two decades until the lawyer decided to break the silence this year. He felt guilty for having protected his stepfather with his silence and thus becoming his accomplice. Camile Kouchner compares that family secret to a hydra that has tortured her ever since.
Camile and “Victor” Kouchner are members of a well-known French “caviar left” family. His father was the French Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs, MEP and founder of Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World. His mother, the political scientist Evelyne Pisier, was the sister of actress Marie-France Pisier. Her stepfather is a famous political scientist and was also a Socialist MEP.
“The Big Family” was published a year after the book “The Consent” by Vanessa Springora, which caused a real earthquake in the French publishing world. Springora denounced how at age 14 she became a victim of the pedophile writer Gabriel Matzneff. He boasted for decades in his books about his sexual abuse of minors without anyone reporting him.