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Mayor arrested ‘for paying £43,000 for video of rival having sex with a man’

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A side by side of Gaël Perdriau and  Gilles Artigues
Gilles Artigue (R) was involved in a plot to ensure Gilles Artigue never runs against him, police say (Pictures: PA/Instagram/@gillesartigues)

A French mayor has been arrested for blackmail against his deputy using a gay sex tape.

Gaël Perdriau, 50, is accused of paying €50,000 (£43,000) for footage of Gilles Artigues, 57, who is a married father.

It is alleged that he used public funds for the footage from 2014 of Mr Artigues with a male prostitue in a Parisian hotel.

Perdriau was taken into custody as part of the preliminary investigation along with four others including:

  • Chief of staff Pierre Gauttieri
  • Deputy chief of staff Claire Vocanson
  • Deputy mayor Semy Kéfi-Jérôme
  • Mr Kéfi-Jérôme’s ex-boyfriend Gilles Rossary-Lenglet

The centre-right Republicans have since moved to oust Mr Perdiau, who has served as mayor since 2014 and was re-elected in 2020.

‘While it is up to justice to decide on guilt and Mr Perdriau’s involvement, the Republicans can only condemn the abominable methods used by the mayor of Saint-Etienne,’ the Republicans said.

The party’s general secretary, Aurélien Pradié, confirmed on Twitter that party president Christian Jacob has ‘already dismissed him of his national duties’ and ‘will be excluded’.

File photo dated February 6, 2017 of Gael Perdriau, Mayor Les Republicains of Saint-Etienne (42), during an interview. - The mayor of Saint-Etienne Ga??l Perdriau is implicated in an intimate video blackmail case targeting his former first deputy. He is suspected of being involved with 5 other people in a sextape blackmail that lasted for years against Gilles Artigues, the former first deputy mayor of Saint-Etienne. He would have participated in the organization of a meeting of Gilles Artigues with an escort boy to trap him. The scene was filmed and the video allowed the Perdriau municipal team and his chief of staff to put pressure on Gilles Artigues to dissuade him from a possible dissidence. Ga??l Perdriau will be expelled from the Les R??publicains party. Photo by Pluquet/ANDBZ/ABACAPRESS.COM
The Republicans have now ‘excluded’ the mayor from the party (Picture: ABACA/PA Images)
gillesartigues This morning I was very happy to receive the honorary diploma of Souvenir French, during the general assembly of the Saint-Etienne committee. Marguerite Vedel received the highest distinction for services rendered, when she passed the torch of the presidency to Corinne Mangeot, in the presence of Anne Fran?oise Viallon, departmental delegate. Together with my elected colleague Maryse Zoffo, we saluted all the work of this structure that works to pass on memory to younger generations so that the sacrifice of our elders, who died for France, is never forgotten. Nicole, the wife of our friend G?rard Pionnier was with us and once again we paid tribute to this exceptional man. We will forever be grateful to Him 11w See original
Gilles Artigue claims he was drugged (Picture: Instagram/@gillesartigues)

He added: ‘The mafia actions of Gaël Perdriau are intolerable for our political family as well as for our public life.’

Mr Perdriau, long considered a rising star of the Republicans, is accused of setting up Mr Artigues being filmed receiving an ‘erotic massage’ from from a sex worker in a Paris hotel room in 2014.

According to the reports, the criminal lawsuit filed by Mr Artigues claims the mayor blackmailed the staunch Conservative Catholic for eight years to prevent him from challenging the mayor.

The filming was organised by Mr Rossary-Lengle and Mr Kéfi-Jérome.

Mr Rossary-Lenglet told MediaPart in August: ‘It was ordered by Gaël Perdriau, the mayor and his [chief of staff], Pierre Gauttieri.’

gillesartigues This morning I was very happy to receive the honorary diploma of Souvenir French, during the general assembly of the Saint-Etienne committee. Marguerite Vedel received the highest distinction for services rendered, when she passed the torch of the presidency to Corinne Mangeot, in the presence of Anne Fran?oise Viallon, departmental delegate. Together with my elected colleague Maryse Zoffo, we saluted all the work of this structure that works to pass on memory to younger generations so that the sacrifice of our elders, who died for France, is never forgotten. Nicole, the wife of our friend G?rard Pionnier was with us and once again we paid tribute to this exceptional man. We will forever be grateful to Him 11w See original
The mayor and four municipal officials have reportedly been detained by police (Picture: Instagram/@gillesartigues)

When Mr Artigues was invited into the hotel room, Mr Kéfi-Jérome offered him a drink that Mr Artigues believes was drugged.

Mr Rossary-Lenglet claimed he was given €50,000 from Saint-Etienne townhall to obtain the tape.

Mr Artigues became aware of the tape 18 months after it was shot, Mr Kéfi-Jérome claimed.

The education official allegedly showed a ‘teaser’ clip to Mr Artigues called: ‘In bed with Gilles Artigues.’

MediaPart released what it said were recordings of the mayor with his chief of staff discussing their involvement in the alleged ambush.

In one meeting, according to the report, Mr Gauttieri tells Mr Artigues: ‘I’ve got a video showing your bum in the air with a bloke. Doesn’t that worry you?’

He adds, MediaPart reported, that if Mr Artigues tells the authorities, he will send copies of the tape to all parents and guardians of the school his children attend.

The report claims the mayor then can be heard saying: ‘There are other ways of doing it, we are not obliged to spread it publicly.’

‘Once this is on social media, it’s no longer blackmail, it’s an execution,’ he added, the report adds.

‘When someone says bad things about gays and is seen cavorting with an escort boy, you have in your hands the death sentence of a political adversary,’ Mr Rossary-Lenglet told France Inter on 8 September.

Mr Perdriau and Mr Gauttieri have both denied any wrongdoing.

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