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Long-Silenced Victim of a Pedophile Writer Gets to Tell Her Story

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It was in 1992 that she contacted Mr. Matzneff, demanding that he stop using her letters and that he return them to her. Eventually, he sent her a photocopied stack — a carefully selected batch that excluded her negative correspondence.

A decade later, in 2002, it was Mr. Matzneff who wrote to her, asking, for the first time, her permission to use old photographs of her in a book. In the turquoise blue ink that he always used to pen his letters, Mr. Matzneff offered to identify the teenager as “the young girl who inspired the character of Angiolina in ‘Ivre du vin perdu.’”

Not only did Ms. Gee refuse, but she also demanded again that his books be purged of her letters and that her face be taken off the cover of “Ivre du vin perdu.” She also demanded that three old photographs of her be taken off a website devoted to Mr. Matzneff and created by an admirer, Frank Laganier. The photos were pulled only seven years later, in 2010, after Ms. Gee’s continued pressure, she said.

Mr. Laganier, who is now living in Paris, declined interview requests. His lawyer, Emmanuel Pierrat — who is representing Mr. Matzneff in a pedophilia case and is a longtime supporter of the writer — declined to be interviewed.

In 2004, Ms. Gee began preparing to sue Gallimard, the publisher of “Ivre du vin perdu,” and “La passion Francesca,” Mr. Matzneff’s diary of their relationship, but stopped because of the high legal costs. Gallimard did not respond to interview requests; Antoine Gallimard, the head of the publishing house, did not respond to an interview request sent to his email address.

Unable to stop Mr. Matzneff, Ms. Gee also could not tell her own story.

After her manuscript was rejected by Albin Michel, she took it, unsuccessfully, to several other publishing houses.

Geneviève Jurgensen, who was an editor at Bayard and met with Ms. Gee in 2004, said the manuscript’s focus was not in line with Bayard, which specialized in publishing youth books, as well as works on philosophy and religion.


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