French official refuses to step down amid sex rumors

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French official refuses to step down amid sex rumors

PARIS - French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said Thursday he would not resign over a book he wrote that describes paying boys for sex and insisted it was not an apology for sex tourism or pedophilia.

“I absolutely condemn sexual tourism (and) I condemn pedophilia, in which I have never in any way participated, and all the people who accuse me of that type of thing should be ashamed,” he told TFI television.

When the book, titled “The Bad Life” and described by its publisher as a “novel inspired by autobiography,” was published in 2005, Mitterrand confirmed he had paid for sex in Asian brothels but rejected rumors of pedophilia.

He said he had met with President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier in the day and that the French leader who appointed him in June to his right-wing government had “confirmed to me his confidence.”

Mitterrand said he “never” considered resigning since the controversy erupted this week after the minister’s staunch defense of fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski, arrested in Zurich on a U.S. warrant on child sex charges.

He said Thursday he had never paid for sex with a minor, and insisted that he had “never done any wrong against anyone in my life, never.” AFP
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