• France's news in English

Sex scandal at Paris transport authority

Matthew Warren · 26 Aug 2011, 11:00

Published: 26 Aug 2011 11:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2011 11:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A sex scandal has blown up at RATP, the publicly-owned company that runs the trains, trams and buses in Paris.

According to Le Point magazine, an anonymous letter was sent to the head of RATP and to the six unions representing employees at the company detailing the sexual exploits of a man who went by the nickname 'the King'. The man concerned was a senior official in the UNSA union.

The letter, sent at the end of June, alleged that several female employees offered sexual favours in return for career advancement.

According to the letter, women "who refused to have sex had a hard life." 

Men who witnessed the events were harassed by the perpetrators to make sure they kept quiet. "They were penalised in their careers because they disobeyed the demands of the King," said the letter.

The letter claimed the union's offices on the boulevard de Sébastopol were used for the sexual encounters, as well as several hotels around Paris.

RATP management said an internal inquiry was launched and the letter has been passed to the Paris prosecutor for further investigation. Le Point reported on Thursday that judge Roger Le Loire will lead the inquiry.

The union involved, Sud, has also lodged an official complaint against the man concerned for offences including sexual harassment and pimping. Newspaper Aujourd'hui reported the pimping charge relates to an offer made by the self-styled 'King' to the head of the Sud union, Olivier Cots, at the start of the year.

Cots told AFP that the 'King' had "benefited for several years from the complicity of his union and of management." 

"Everyone knew about it," he said. "If anyone complained, it was made clear to them they should keep quiet."

A spokesman for the UNSA union, Frédéric Sarrassat, denied this, claiming they had "never been made aware of these incidents."

The 'King' himself was suspended from the union in early January for reasons not connected to the charges.

Aujourd'hui quoted various sources within RATP as saying that "salacious, even sordid" stories had been circulating for years, "but no one ever dared to give evidence because the person concerned had a lot of power."



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available