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US News Macron's candidate for Paris mayor quits race over sex video

14:45  14 february  2020
14:45  14 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Macron tapped Griveaux to be the LREM's Paris mayoral candidate , causing a rift in the party that led to the president asking rival Cedric Villani to step aside. One of Macron ' s closest political allies, Griveaux resigned as a junior minister and government spokesman in March last year to run for mayor .

Emmanuel Macron ' s candidate for Paris mayor , Benjamin Griveaux, withdrew from the race over a leaked sex video Friday, in a blow for the French president's party ahead of March local elections. Benjamin Griveaux, former La Republique en Marche (LREM) candidate for Paris mayor , has

a man wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: A website published a video with messages addressed to a woman which was said to have come from the former government spokesman © Lionel BONAVENTURE A website published a video with messages addressed to a woman which was said to have come from the former government spokesman

Emmanuel Macron's candidate for Paris mayor, Benjamin Griveaux, withdrew from the race over a leaked sex video Friday, in a blow for the French president's party ahead of March local elections. 

The 42-year-old MP said he opted for retreat to protect his family after a website published video excerpts of a man masturbating, accompanied by screengrabs of racy text messages, which it said came from the former government spokesman.

It then spread on social media.

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Macron ’ s candidate was already struggling in the race , polls showed. The electoral math was even more complex for Griveaux as his Griveaux was an early supporter of Macron ’ s successful run for president in 2017 and served as the government’s spokesman before quitting to run for Paris mayor .

French President Emmanuel Macron ' s preferred candidate for Paris mayor has withdrawn his bid over a leaked sex video . A close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that he was pulling out of the race to become mayor of Paris after a website published a leaked sex

"A website and social networks have launched vile attacks concerning my private life. My family does not deserve this. No one should ever be subjected to such abuse," Griveaux said at AFP headquarters in Paris.

"For more than a year, my family and I have been subjected to defamatory remarks, lies, rumours, anonymous attacks, the revelation of stolen private conversations and death threats," he said.

"As if this was not enough, yesterday a new level was reached," said Griveaux, adding he was not willing to expose his wife and children any further. 

"This is going too far."

The Liberation newspaper reported Friday that Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky claims to have put the video online in order to expose the ex-candidate's "hypocrisy".

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By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Michel Rose. PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron suffered a setback on Friday when one of his closest lieutenants, Benjamin Griveaux, pulled out of the race to become mayor of Paris after it was alleged he sent sexual images to a woman who is not his wife.

Sex scandal forces Emmanuel Macron ' s closest lieutenant to scrap bid to become Paris mayor after video shows the married father pleasuring himself The top two candidates will progress to a run-off in the second round of voting on March 22. Opinion polls last year had suggested a tight race was on

He said he got the video from a "source" who had a consensual relationship with Griveaux. 

Benjamin Griveaux wearing a suit and tie: FULL SPEECHFrench President Emmanuel Macron's candidate for Paris mayor in March local elections declares he is dropping out of the race after the release of a sex video on social media. © Viken KANTARCI FULL SPEECHFrench President Emmanuel Macron's candidate for Paris mayor in March local elections declares he is dropping out of the race after the release of a sex video on social media. "I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for the Paris municipal election, this decision costs me but my priorities are very clear, it is first and foremost my family" Benjamin Griveaux told the press. "He is someone who constantly brings up family values, who says he wants to be the mayor of families and always cites his wife and children as an example. But he is doing the opposite," Pavlensky told the daily in a telephone interview on Thursday night.

- Support for Griveaux -

"I don't mind people living the sexuality they wish... but they have to be honest," said the protest artist best known for nailing his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square in 2013.

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A sex video has ended French ruling party candidate Benjamin Griveaux's hopes of becoming mayor of Paris . The ex-spokesman for President Emmanuel Macron ' s government, who was already trailing in the race , was apparently targeted by a Russian protest artist accusing him of hypocrisy.

The Paris mayoral candidate picked by President Macron has ended his campaign a month before the election, following a sex scandal. He said he decided to pull out of the race to protect himself and his family from further below-the-belt attacks. “For over a year, my family and I have been subjected

"He wants to be the head of the city and he lies to voters. I now live in France, I am Parisian, it is important for me." 

The ambitious Griveaux helped found the Republic on the Move (LREM) party, but recent polls showed him trailing in third place in Paris, which Macron won comfortably in the 2017 presidential election.

Macron tapped Griveaux to be the LREM's Paris mayoral candidate, causing a rift in the party that led to the president asking rival Cedric Villani to step aside. 

Villani refused, triggering his exclusion from the ruling party.

On Friday, Villani said the "undignified attack" that led to Griveaux's withdrawal was a "serious threat to our democracy" and offered his support to the former candidate and his family.

- Calls to respect privacy -

Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who leads the race in opinion polls, called for "the respect of privacy and of people."

Emmanuel Macron, Benjamin Griveaux are posing for a picture: Griveaux is a close political ally of Emmanuel Macron © Thibault Camus Griveaux is a close political ally of Emmanuel Macron Wresting control of the capital would be a huge prize for Macron as he seeks to consolidate his base ahead of an expected re-election bid in 2022.

It would also help offset heavy losses he is expected to face in rural areas, where his policies have met fierce resistance and fired up the "yellow vest" protest movement.

One of Macron's closest political allies, Griveaux resigned as a junior minister and government spokesman in March last year to run for mayor.

Griveaux told AFP he had discussed the issue with Macron late Thursday, and that the president offered his support "whatever my decision", while urging him to protect his own.

As for the LREM's project for Paris, he said it would continue "better without me".

"Parisians deserve a dignified campaign," Griveaux said as he bowed out with a final "thank you".

He was due to attend a meeting of the LREM later Friday to plan a new strategy for the party.

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