The youtuber Norman Thavaud in custody for rape and corruption of minors
Eva Deschamps / December 6, 2022
The Paris prosecutor's office told AFP that "Norman" was placed in custody on Monday as part of a preliminary investigation entrusted to the Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM), confirming a report by Libération.
The prosecutor's office said that the procedure, opened in January 2022, concerned "six complainants".
According to the newspaper, five of them accuse Norman of rape, two were minors at the time of the facts.
The Webedia group (AlloCiné, PurePeople, 750g, Jeuxvideo.com ...) announced on Twitter "the suspension of its collaboration" with Normand Thavaud.
He had become in 2015 a French leader of Youtube by buying Mixicom, an MCN (web channel network) that brings together famous comedians of the net, including Cyprien and Squeezie who share with him the podium of the most followed video producers in France.
In 2020, a Quebec fan, Maggie D., had publicly accused Norman of having manipulated her to obtain photos and videos of a sexual nature, when she was, according to her, 16 years old at the time.
She said she had filed a complaint in Canada.
In a Quebec-French investigation published by the media Urbania in April 2021, other women had made comparable accusations against the youtuber for facts that would have occurred while some were still minors.
Interviewed by AFP, Maggie D. confirmed that she is currently in France to be confronted with Norman in front of investigators, as reported by Libération.
Norman is an old hand, having made his debut in 2011 on the platform. His videos, according to an official count, have been viewed more than 2.7 billion times.
Standard-bearer of a new generation of comedians born on social networks, this trained editor became known in the early 2010s with sequences inspired by his daily life ("Having a cat", "The toilet") or video games ("Luigi clash Mario").
Passionate about stand-up, he went on stage for two solo shows between 2015 and 2020, in addition to appearances in movies ("My King") and television ("Ten Percent").
The entourage of the Youtubeur was not able to react immediately.
In 2018, the number one French youtuber, Squeezie (17.6 million subscribers) had denounced on Twitter "the YouTubers (including those who shout from the rooftops that they are feminists) who take advantage of the psychological vulnerability of young female subscribers to get sex".
His tweet had been enormously reposted as part of the #balancetonyoutubeur movement. Some testimonies had targeted Norman.
Another youtuber, Leo Grasset, specialist in popular science, is targeted by two preliminary investigations opened in 2022 in Paris and Lyon, concerning accusations of rape and sexual harassment.
The influencer responded to the accusations relayed by Mediapart in a video posted on his channel in mid-November.
I have a messy love life sometimes, and I also sometimes make jokes of big redneck but however the article draws a portrait of me that is dishonest; it builds a toxic character with insinuations and truncated quotes", he says, disputing in particular having raped a young woman in 2016.