TV host to stand trial for sexual assault

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - A popular French talk show host, Jean-Luc Delarue, is to stand trial next month accused of sexually assaulting an air hostess on a flight to South Africa, a judicial official said Monday.

PARIS, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - A popular French talk show host, Jean-Luc Delarue, is to stand trial next month accused of sexually assaulting an air hostess on a flight to South Africa, a judicial official said Monday.

Delarue, 42, had to be handcuffed to his first class seat after he allegedly insulted three cabin crew, biting, slapping and grabbing the breasts and stomach of one attendant on the February 13 Paris-Johannesburg flight.

Detained for questioning by border police after flying back to Paris Sunday, the TV host admitted to losing control on board the flight, blaming a cocktail of medecines and alcohol.

"I don't remember everything, but enough to know that my behaviour wasn't normal -- far from it -- and was unacceptable. I really lost it," Delarue told French radio RTL on Monday.

Delarue said he had taken sleeping pills and drank several glasses of wine to cope with his fear of flying. He also said he was suffering from work-related stress and had been harassed by paparazzi photographers following the birth of his first child.

The TV host is expected to plead guilty to charges of assault, sexual assault and disrupting a flight at the trial late next month, the judicial official said.

Known for his gentle and low-key manner, Delarue hosts a talk show called "Ca se discute" (Let's Talk About It), which touches on such human interest topics as how to deal with teenage suicide, choosing a plastic surgeon or how siblings cope in large families.

Delarue also founded a successful television production company, Reservoir Prod.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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