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Russian artist defends sex tape leak that ended Paris mayoral bid

Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky speaks during a press interview with AFP at his lawyer's office in Paris on February 14, 2020.
Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky speaks during a press interview with AFP at his lawyer's office in Paris on February 14, 2020. © Lionel Bonaventure, AFP

Russian protest artist Piotr Pavlensky on Friday confirmed to AFP that he posted a sex video that tanked the Paris mayoral bid of ruling party candidate Benjamin Griveaux, calling his action a fight against political "hypocrisy".

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The controversial Pavlensky, who enjoys political asylum in France, said leaked images of a man masturbating were the first contribution to a "political porn" website created to expose what he considered deceitful behaviour by people in power.

"I have launched the first 'political porn' platform," he said after Griveaux dropped out of the mayoral race citing concern for his wife and children.

"Obviously I need sources. I hope that I will have enough material."

Known for some startling stunts, which have included nailing his scrotum to Red Square in Moscow, Pavlensky insisted his problem was not with Griveaux's morals or personal choices, but political deceit.

 "It is a matter of principle. It is as if someone who campaigns against violence against women beats up his wife every night," he said.

"Benjamin Griveaux started his campaign with a monstruous lie, a disgusting hypocrisy, he used his family, his wife, his children to create a political image and present himself as an icon for all the fathers and husbands of Paris."

Griveaux campaigned on "traditional family values" he did not follow himself, claimed Pavlensky, complaining that "hypocrisy has become the norm in France. It should not be considered normal."

Having earlier told the Liberation newspaper that he got the images from a "source" who had a consensual relationship with Griveaux, he refused to divulge any further details about the video's origins.

(AFP)

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