The president called his decision to withdraw the complaint, initially revealed by Challenges and later confirmed by France Info, “a gesture of appeasement”.
Filed in August, the complaint accused paparazzo Thibaut Daliphard of “harassment and attempted invasion of privacy” while the president was holidaying in Marseille.
The photographer allegedly followed Macron on a motorbike when the French head of state left the private residence where he was staying with his wife Brigitte, according to a statement issued by the Elysee Palace. The 'harassment' continued despite security officers repeatedly asking him to desist, the statement said.
The man was also said to have entered private property, prompting the legal complaint which was filed on behalf of Macron.
The couple had not made public the destination of their summer holiday, but the Journal du Dimanche reported that they were vacationing in a private residence in Marseille. The photojournalist in question spoke to celebrity magazine VSD about his time in custody, telling the publication he was “treated like a criminal”.
“I'm shocked and outraged,” he said. “It gives the impression that the president is going to war with the press.”
The president's relationship with the press has been making headlines since he was elected and some may see this as an attempt on the part of Macron to change the tone of his relationship with the media, which has been rather fraught.
In May, Macron had his first major spat with the media since taking power, after his team imposed restrictions on which journalists could travel with him on a trip to visit French troops stationed in west Africa.
But at the end of August, with his personal approval ratings dropping, the president – who up until that point seemed to want as little contact with the press as possible – said off the record that he wanted to break the silence and address the French people once or twice a week, possibly on the radio, according to journalists present at the time.
Despite this, at the beginning of September the president accused French journalists of being “too interested in themselves”.
“I'm not interested in journalists, I'm interested in the French people, that's what you need to understand,” Macron replied when asked why he “spoke so little” by French television reporters on Monday.