Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Princess Tells All

I'm not sure what sort of title "princess of Yugoslavia" is, exactly, mais la belle Hélène de Yougoslavie is certainly giving her estranged husband Thierry Gaubert the royal treatment. She is "disgusted," she told Le Monde, at discovering that her ex had opened Swiss bank accounts in her name in which to hide the occult money that was used to finance Balladur's 1995 presidential campaign, so she's spilled all:

Avez-vous subi des pressions ?Oui, beaucoup de pressions, et des menaces, émanant de mon mari. Cela a commencé après que sa maison a été perquisitionnée, au mois de juillet. Il s'attendait à ce que je sois convoquée par la police. Alors il m'a dit : "Si tu parles, tu ne verras plus les enfants. Si je coule, tu coules avec moi, car nous ne sommes pas divorcés. " Il ne fallait absolument pas que je parle des comptes à l'étranger et des remises d'argent.
Que s'est-il passé après votre audition ?Déjà, durant l'audition, il m'inondait de textos ! Et puis, le 14 septembre, il m'appelle et me dit : "J'ai quelque chose à te donner, descends, je suis garé dans la rue. " Une fois dans la voiture, il m'a incendiée, il était furieux. "Qu'est-ce que tu as été raconter aux flics, il paraît que tu m'as balancé ? Tu es complètement folle, tu vas partir à l'asile. " J'ai compris qu'il avait eu des informations très précises sur ma déposition.
More and more this looks to be one of the great scandals of the Fifth Republic.

UPDATE: Mediapart has lots more.


Anonymous said...

This is 'pain béni' for Mediapart, which was founded by virulent Sarko haters.

If this does turn into a Watergate-type affair, Sarko is toast in '12, no doubt about it.


MCG said...

Wait for the play, no, the opera!

Anonymous said...

I disagree that the journalists at Médiapart are "Sarko-haters". They hate what he stands for and this "affaire" explains why.
I don't see how this can be kept under wraps. So now in order to protect himself, Sarkozy MUST win in 2012 (there's a clause of presidential immunity, he can't be touched by the justice system as long as he's the president).
In any case, this is a Watergate times 10 - don't forget this involves terrorists and people's deaths plus numerous threats to different people (including journalists).
Here's a good summary:

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Yes, deaths are involved, but I would point out that it is Chirac who bears primary responsibility there, for stopping the payment of "commissions," rather than Balladur's boys, who would have kept on paying off and thus avoided retaliation. But "reponsibility" is a slippery word here, since the retaliation may not have been foreseen.

FrédéricLN said...

Well, it's a Watergate indeed. But no hypothesis, even the darkest one, points to a responsibility of Mr Sarkozy's in the DCN people deaths at Karachi.

If the responsibility of a politician has been questioned, it's Mr Chirac's as President: he ordered the remaining bribes should not be paid (therefore the "rétrocommissions" to France, and allegedly to Mr Balladur's supporters, were also not paid) — not considering that his decision could be followed by such a bloody counterstrike.

Once gain: according to one of the hypotheses that have been exposed by media...

FrédéricLN said...

Woops, hi Art, some common knowledge around here!

louis said...

I had to check. "La belle Hélène" (Princess Helene Olga Lydia Tamara Maria of Yugoslavia) is part of what has been washed ashore after the wreckage of several European royal families. A tragic tale, if you like that kind of things.

It starts here:

and ends up here:

Like Helen of Troyes, she is the ultimate trophy wife. Fit to marry into a French Right still strangely fascinated by royalty and status symbols. "Republicanism" sounds good when bashing muslims on the head with "laïcité", but who wouldn't like a bona fide princess in the family?

As to substance, that indeed looks like the uber-scandal.