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Yann Moix acquitted of defamation after accusing his parents of violence, racism and homophobia

The writer Yann Moix, attacked by his parents for insult and defamation after accusing them of violence in his youth, was acquitted on Monday by the Paris criminal court.

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Yann Moix acquitted of defamation after accusing his parents of violence, racism and homophobia

The writer Yann Moix, attacked by his parents for insult and defamation after accusing them of violence in his youth, was acquitted on Monday by the Paris criminal court. The parents, José and Marie-José Moix, had filed a complaint after a Canal program, En aside, in October 2022, where their son had accused them of violence and abuse. He also accused them of being “racist” and “homophobic”.

The decision of the 17th criminal chamber of the Paris judicial court wins the case for the 56-year-old novelist. The court considered that part of his comments on the violence were founded, and recognized the defendant's right to vehemence and exaggeration.

The court was able to rely on a letter from José Moix to his son dating from November 2022, and cited at the hearing. The father wrote that when Yann Moix had an attitude that seemed unacceptable to his parents, particularly when he attacked his little brother, he received slaps or spankings. The writer's parents, however, denied the systematic violence reported by their son.

In court, in a very tense atmosphere, the stories of each side were in total contradiction on all the points discussed. In front of his parents who listened to him without flinching, Yann Moix said he had been “molested, beaten, martyred”. He admitted to wishing for “the death” of his parents. The latter, when their son had left the room so as not to hear them, had responded by denouncing “lies”, “a shame”, “a novel”.

On Canal, the writer cited several abuses that the parents had forcefully refuted: being locked outside at night, taken to the forest for a simulated abandonment, receiving "strokes with an electric extension cord", or even having to watch children's books burn. its library or preparation sheets for competitive exams.

If none of these accusations could be confirmed or refuted, the court considered that a conviction which would restrict Yann Moix's freedom of expression could not be justified. “It is of course a satisfactory decision for Yann Moix, but it goes well beyond that. It makes it possible to increase the freedom of speech in the name of the importance of the general interest at stake, and the absolute necessity of preventing the account of such experiences from being gagged,” asserted the lawyer of the writer, Jean-Marc Fedida.

The break between Yann Moix and the rest of his family became public knowledge after the publication in 2019 of the novel Orléans, where the writer recounted a martyred childhood. His parents and his brother Alexandre, four years younger, responded in the press. According to them, on the contrary, the most violent was Yann Moix, against his little brother. Yann Moix was also targeted, after another television show in 2019, by a complaint for defamation from his brother Alexandre. The case ended in 2023 with a judgment from the Court of Cassation annulling the entire procedure.

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