French Minister Slammed Over Sex Tourism
Mitterand defended Polanski, admitted 'paying for boys' in book
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 6:00 AM CDT
France's Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand attends a government session at the National Assembly in Paris last month.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
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(Newser) – French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand's own past has come back to haunt him in the wake of his calls for Roman Polanski's release. Opposition lawmakers have brought attention to passages in his autobiography where he defends sex tourism and admits paying for young—and, he implies, underage—boys. "I got into the habit of paying for boys," he wrote. "All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously."

"As a minister of Culture, he has drawn attention to himself by defending a filmmaker accused of raping a child and has written a book where he said he took advantage of sexual tourism," a spokesman for the opposition Socialist Party said. "To say the least, I find it shocking." Mitterand, now under heavy pressure to resign, says he is "flabbergasted" by the attacks, the Independent reports.