new testimonies that challenge

Awkward silences, interlocutors who do not call you back, others who need “empty their bag”and above all, the desire “not to appear publicly”. When Jean-Jacques Bourdin’s colleagues are asked what relationship he had with the women in his professional circle, they all request anonymity. The star presenter, who dramatically boosted RMC’s audiences in the 2000s, seems to intimidate many in his writing. “It makes and breaks careers”explains a journalist who has spent time in competition, “you won’t find anyone in the mornings to speak ill of him”. In fact, many journalists take his defense. “He was professional and benevolent, sometimes temperamental and diva, but that did not go beyond the framework”tells us a journalist who worked at RMC between 2015 and 2019.

“He has a reputation as a seducer, but I can’t imagine him attacking a woman”supports another colleague of Jean-Jacques Bourdin, 18 years of house. “He likes women, he’s the type to look at them insistently but that’s all”, adds a former executive. Among his relatives, a journalist who left for other horizons explains further: “I don’t want to overwhelm him or defend him. But I don’t see him as a stalker or an aggressor.”

However, other testimonies paint a portrait of a man flirting with the red line. “Before the Sofitel affair [en 2011, NDLR]we knew he was very close to DSK [Dominique Strauss-Kahn, NDLR]. At the editorial office, we called them the two hot rabbits”confides to the Investigation Unit of Radio France a journalist who has more than 15 years of seniority at RMC then BFM.

An event also raises questions in both newsrooms. In the pimping case known as “Carlton de Lille”, in which DSK and the majority of the defendants were released, the name of Jean-Jacques Bourdin was mentioned by a witness. This witness is a former RMC switchboard operator, on which DSK allegedly “flashed” one day in 2007, when he had come to take part in a show. At the request of the one who was not yet boss of the IMF, Jean-Jacques Bourdin had given the number of the young woman, as evidenced by the order for referral to the criminal court (image below).

The young woman, aged 24, then found herself drawn into the libertine evenings of DSK, in what an RMC employee at the time described as “descent into hell” for the young intern. This past proximity with DSK is not in itself reprehensible. But the fact that Jean-Jacques Bourdin was able to communicate the coordinates of a young woman, “to a man of DSK’s profile, this challenges us”continues this employee.

We collected three other testimonies which show the attitude, to say the least ambivalent, that the presenter could have with certain journalists. In 1996, Jean-Jacques Bourdin worked at RTL where he presented the program “The listeners have the floor” at lunchtime.

Mélissa (it’s an assumed first name) 19 years old, is a trainee in the economic department. On the last day of his internship, according to him, Jean-Jacques Bourdin offers him lunch to “to take stock of his work and help him for the rest of his career”. “He invites me to the Café de Flore, she says. Very quickly, he told me that he writes erotic literature under a pseudonym, that I inspire him a lot and that he would like me to accompany him to the banks of the Seine, the place of his stories. The journalist says she was “frozen”. “I left. I never heard from him.”

Another former colleague of Jean-Jacques Bourdin, who knew him in the early 2000s when RMC was in Monaco, believes that the “Writing was a playground for him, not a hunting ground. He was trying. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. He could be heavy, insistent, sticky”she says, before concluding: “There was a question of influence, especially for journalists fresh out of school.”

Another testimony, that of Sidonie Bonnec, presenter of the program “Minute Papillon” on France Bleu and of the game “Everyone has their word to say” on France 2. “On June 30, 2010, I met Jean-Jacques Bourdin during a program by Jean-Marc Morandini, where he was also a guest”explains the journalist. “During this show, I talked about my desire to do radio one day. At the end, he came to see me and suggested that we discuss a future collaboration.”

“He invited me to lunch and offered to do the press review of his morning. I worked on this project for several weeks, I sent him a model and we discussed it during another lunch.”

Sidonie Bonnec

at franceinfo

Back to school arrives, September 2010. Jean-Jacques Bourdin offers him to come to Calvi in ​​Corsica “so that she expands her address book during a festival in which media personalities participate”. Sidonie Bonnec hesitates then declines when he tells her that she would be accommodated “in a villa with him and a friend of his”. And especially when he says to her, she tells us: “There will be a swimming pool, don’t forget your bathing suit.” “I called him back to tell him it wasn’t possible and he hung up. He never heard from me even though I had been working on the project for weeks.” Sidonie Bonnec was also heard as a witness at the police station in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Asked, Jean-Jacques Bourdin and his lawyer Jacqueline Laffont did not answer our questions.

In a statement sent to AFP, Jean-Jacques Bourdin “firmly denies having engaged in acts or attitudes likely to be repressed by law, both in his professional sphere and outside it”. He adds that he “discovers in the press the grievances formulated against him for the first time, often on condition of anonymity, for alleged facts sometimes more than twenty years old”continues the press release. “He expresses his gratitude to those who support him.”

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