French 'masseur to the stars' on trial for rape

11th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

NICE, France, May 11, 2006 (AFP) - A 47-year-old Frenchman described as a 'masseur to the stars' because he counted Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and other celebrities among his clients went on trial Thursday for allegedly drugging and raping 13 young women.

NICE, France, May 11, 2006 (AFP) - A 47-year-old Frenchman described as a 'masseur to the stars' because he counted Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and other celebrities among his clients went on trial Thursday for allegedly drugging and raping 13 young women.

Thierry Chichportich is accused of luring the victims, some of them aspiring models, to his French Riviera home where he assaulted them after first knocking them unconscious by putting powerful sedatives in food or drinks.

Part of the trial, which is being conducted in the city of Nice, is closed to the public, though reporters will be present.

Chichportich admits to having had sex with some of the women clients but claims it was consensual. He has called some 20 defence witnesses to testify on his behalf.

Among them is French actress Emmanuelle Beart -- despite her having sent a letter explaining she was no longer available because of filming commitments.

"I am not at all guilty of the crimes I'm accused of," Chichportich told the court after the charges were read out.

"These people are all adults," he said, indicating the plaintiffs. "There are rules in seduction. If they are accepted by both sides it means it was consented to."

The masseur -- who boasted during the investigation that he gave massages without charge to stars to boost his reputation and "to pick up babes" -- said the accusers had come several times to his home, suggesting they had no qualms seeing him.

According to the prosecution, a police search of Chichportich's home turned up sedatives and videos of his sex acts with some of the women -- who told police they had no recollection of the scenes.

The trial is due to continue to May 18.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article