The Birdcage Archives

Thursday 20 September 2018

Jean-Claude Arnault’s Trial – Begins

Hello Gentle Reader

Just as the Swedish Academy attempts to rebuild its former self, another punch is once again thrown in their lap. However, this time, the punch is not directly aimed at the Swedish Academy, but rather gets them in the peripherals. For many, the scales of justice will be watched with duty and scrutiny, as disgraced photographer and Swedish cultural figurer, Jean-Claude Arnault, goes on trial on charges of sexual assault and rape.

Jean-Claude Arnault, is considered the seed that started the hurricane like tempest, which battered the Swedish Academy, and left it in ruin. Jean-Claude Arnaut was officially accused of rape back in two-thousand and seventeen, by eighteen different women, who accused over a period of almost three decades of sexually assaulting and raping them. Once the media got a hold of the accusations and documentation, a storm brewed over the winter and erupted in the spring, which left the academy picking up the ruins, and facing criticism on all fronts. During this storm, Jean-Claude continually denied the allegation leveled against him as false.

Yet, the unofficial “Nineteenth Member,” (a style he often used when referring to himself) has fallen from his former place as a figure of cultural influence in Stockholm, in to a disgraced public personality, who is being seen as Stockholm’s version of Harvey Weinstein.

The trial’s first day of hearings, were yesterday, in Stockholm; and the trial is private and blocked off from media and public access. However, in the documentation filed in the proceedings, Arnault faces charges due to two alleged assaults happening in two-thousand and eleven.

According to court documents obtained by the media, Arnault (72) forced a woman in a state of “intense fear,” to perform oral sex on him, and then have intercourse on October 5 2011. [Fun Fact: the following day, the Nobel Prize for Literature was announced to going to the Swedish Poet, Tomas Tranströmer]. That same year, Arnault has been accused and charged with raping the same woman between the nights of December 2nd and 3rd, while she was asleep. Again, Arnault denies the accusations leveled against him, and professes innocence. In the event, Jean-Claude Arnault is found guilty; he faces a prison sentence of up to six years.

Away from the trial proceedings, during its third party investigation, the law firm investigating the ties with Jean-Claude Arnault, found many wives and former wives of members, and their daughters, had found themselves experiencing displays and assaults of unwanted intimacy from the accused photographer. It has also been reported that thanks to this wife (Katarina Frostenson) he was also in possession of knowledge concerning future Nobel Laureates in their designated year, and would often leak this knowledge.

There is no telling how this will play out for Jean-Claude Arnault or his wife Katarina Frostenson, or by extension the Swedish Academy. It can be stated with certainty that Jean-Claude Arnault, “The Nineteenth Member,” had successfully shown the truly putrid and rotting underbelly of what was once called, Stockholm Cultural Life; the Swedish Academy has been called an institution which values secrecy and nepotism.

Jean-Claude Arnault’s Trial, will only be apply greater pressure on the Swedish Academy, and it will need to work twice as hard to renew and rebuild itself, as an institution of any moral integrity and cultural importance.

Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read

M. Mary

For Further Reading –

The Guardian -- "Nobel panel's '19th member' appears in Swedish court on rape charges,"

France24 -- "Frenchman at heart of scandal at Swedish Academy goes on trial for rape,"

The Local Sweden -- "Trial of Frenchman at centre of Swedish Academy scandal starts,"

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