National indignation. The investigation broadcasted this Friday on M6 TV channel has had more fallouts than expected, so much that Secretary of the Interior Gérald Darmanin has initiated an inquiry to the Police Prefect to find the names of ministers said to have attended private dinners in clandestine restaurants.
The day following the outcry caused by a documentary on social networks, Darmanin fights tooth and nail on Europe 1 and says: "to [his] knowledge, there have been no ministers" to any of these clandestine dinners held in Paris. "The same rule applies to everyone in France. [...] There is not wealthy people on one hand who are let to feast, and on the other hand, the people who are controlled. The same rule applies to all. This is what I order the police officers", the Minister reminds. Moreover, the regretted these rumors "sapping the very foundations of democracy".
As a response, M6's Société des Journalistes advocated for themselves in a release issued this Tuesday April 6, 2021. Accusations made by Pierre-Jean Chalençon against the channel led journalists to respond. In SDJ's release, M6 claims "other sources have told us off camera there was at least one member of the government at these dinners". The release concludes: "As it happens to be always the case, our journalists' work has been completed thoroughly and in compliance with ethic rules".
As for Paris persecutor, they initiated a criminal investigation for endangering others and undeclared work in order to “check if these parties have been held in disregard of the health guidelines and determine who have been the likely organizers and participants”.
The sequence is short, in 19:45 televised journal, but a man’s bragging – Pierre-Jean Chalençon – could cost him a lot. To the journalist who contacted him, he said he has “dined in two or three restaurants this week that actually are so-called clandestine restaurants, with a certain number of ministers”. Before adding: “it makes me laugh, we’re still in a democracy, we can do whatever we want”.
Caviar, champagne, menus de grands chefs et retrait du masque obligatoire… Nos journalistes ont pu pénétrer dans ces fêtes clandestines de haut standing qui se tiennent actuellement à Paris.– M6info (@m6info) April 2, 2021
🎥@frvignolle Armelle Mehani et @CyrielleStadler en exclusivité pour le 📺#19h45 pic.twitter.com/ClXpIWrVwZ
Tweet reads: “Caviar, champagne, top chefs’ menus, and no mask… our journalists managed to attend these high-range clandestine parties currently hosted in Paris”.
His name – not given by M6 – has been quickly found by Internet users on Twitter: Pierre-Jean Chalençon, art collector and owner of Paris Palais Vivienne. Online, his website read – without hiding it – “champagne and caviar” dinners concocted by chef Christophe Leroy. Faced with the outcry, Chalençon claim humor in a release drew up with his lawyer. But the harm has been done. The net has been fired with about 100,000 tweets with #Onveutlesnoms (#Wewantthenames). Anonymous are tracking pictures nonchalantly posted on Instagram by one-night guests. Zooms on patrons’ cards, seated, to see which minister, which celebrity or business people are expected, names put on faces of stolen pictures, everything is being scrutinized…
As to know how many “high-range” parties exist in Paris… M6 has collared Leroy’s Business Club, receptions held in different places in the French capital including Pierre-Jean Chalençon’s Palais Vivienne. Twitter takes care of the rest. The Delinquency Represision Brigade now has to lead the official investigation and punish, and the ministers involved might resign from their positions.