A French cabinet minister who has written about paying young boys for sex in Bangkok is facing growing calls to resign.
Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterand, nephew of former president François, wrote how the sex slave trade excited him “enormously” in a book published four years ago. The opposition socialists are among those demanding he step down. The party’s spokesman, Benoit Hamon said: “It’s up to the President whether or not France can be involved in the fight against child prostitution and sex tourism and at the same time have a minister who justifies the sex trade in a book marketed by book shops as an autobiography.” The book, “The Bad Life,” was a critically acclaimed bestseller when it was released in 2005. Mitterand has since said that when he described paying for sex with “young boys,” he meant adults. He has found some support from President Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party. The party leader denounced the use of people’s private lives to make political attacks. The controversy started only this week when the deputy leader of the far-right National Front read out passages on television. That came after Mitterand made an impassioned defence of film director Roman Polanski, who faces extradition to the US where he is accused of having sex with a 13-year old girl in 1977. Mitterand will answer questions over the affair on French television on Thursday evening.