Rocker Hallyday quizzed over rape claim
NICE, France, Nov 24 (AFP) - France's biggest rock star, Johnny Hallyday, was on Monday questioned by judges investigating claims by a woman who worked on the entertainer's yacht that he sexually assaulted her two years ago, court officials said.
Hallyday’s lawyer stressed that his client was interviewed only as a material witness in the investigation and was not the target of any criminal probe.
In comments to AFP and a local newspaper, Hallyday himself said he was “relieved” by the session with the judges and said he had not been put under official investigation — a first step under French law to possible charges being laid.
“My name has been sullied by a pathetic little tale,” he said. “Now, it’s time to say ‘stop, enough’. I want to settle this.”
The affair stems from allegations made by the former employee, a 34-year-old woman identified as Marie-Christine V. who claimed Hallyday, 60, raped her after a drunken party on his yacht in April 2001.
The judicial enquiry – which is into allegations of rape, use of threats and malicious telephone calls – does not cite Hallyday by name. The woman has claimed that she was also the victim of harassment by telephone and threats.
There was no immediate comment from justice officials about what was said in the interview. Journalists saw the singer, who had been summonsed, turn up to the law courts in the French Riviera city of Nice and leave three hours later.
Hallyday’s lawyer, Gilles-Jean Portejoie, said the entertainer had lodged two countersuits in relation to the matter, one for false accusation and the other for attempted blackmail.
Subject: French news