Photographer Accused of Groping Swedish Princess

Scandal threatens to derail Nobel Prize for Literature
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2018 2:20 AM CDT
Updated Apr 30, 2018 3:03 AM CDT
Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel visit Hackney Community College during an official visit to London on Nov. 7, 2013.   (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – A French photographer whose alleged sexual misconduct sparked a scandal threatening to cancel this year's Nobel Prize in Literature was so brazen that he groped Sweden's future queen at a public event, witnesses say. Swedish writer Ebba Witt-Brattström tells the Telegraph that at a 2006 event put on by the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, photographer Jean-Claude Arnault unexpectedly approached Crown Princess Victoria. "He came lurking from behind and I saw his hand land on her neck and go downward. It was all the way down," she says. Witt-Brattström says a female aide "threw herself forward" and pushed Arnault away from the princess, who was 28 years old at the time.

Victoria "turned in surprise. I guess she had never been groped. She just looked like 'what?'" Witt-Brattström says. Sweden's royal family declined to comment on the incident, though it issued a statement supporting the #MeToo campaign, the BBC reports. Arnault, husband of Academy member Katarina Frostenson, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by 18 women. He denies the allegations. The scandal has caused the departure of six people from the Academy's 18-member committee, which voted against removing Frostenson, and remaining members are considering canceling this year's prize for the first time since World War II, the Guardian reports. A decision is expected to be announced later this week.

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