First name “insult to France”: 20,000 euros fine required against Zemmour

In 2018, the far-right polemicist called Hapsatou Sy’s first name an “insult to France”. He is being prosecuted for racial slur.





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Éric Zemmour is being sued by Hapsatou Sy for public insult of a racial nature.
© STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

LThe prosecution requested, on Friday November 4, a fine of 20,000 euros against the far-right polemicist Éric Zemmour, tried in Paris for public insult of a racial nature when he qualified in 2018 the first name of the ex-columnist of the Canal + group Hapsatou Sy as an “insult to France”. The sentence requested by the prosecutor, 100 day-fine at 200 euros, can be transformed into imprisonment in the event of non-payment.

The 64-year-old former presidential candidate and president of Reconquestwho did not appear at the hearing, is referred to the criminal court for remarks made during the public recording of Thierry Ardisson’s show, Sunday Earthlings, in September 2018 on C8. The production company had cut the extract in which Éric Zemmour declared that the first name of Hapsatou Sy was an “insult to France”, in particular because of a “high risk of legal condemnation”.

The columnist had broadcast on social networks a video filmed by a make-up artist containing this cut passage and filed a complaint with a civil action. The sequence as broadcast on C8, and viewed by the court, stops on exchanges on the choice of first names.

READ ALSOAll the times Éric Zemmour was convicted (and released)

” Your first name […] is an insult to France”

Hapsatou Sy reminds Eric Zemmour of his first name, who retorts: “Your mother was wrong. “And what would you like my name to be?” “, bounces the columnist. “Corinne”, replies the guest of the show, recorded in public. In a following face-to-face, cut during the editing, the columnist declares: “What you have just said is an insult to France. “Mademoiselle, it’s your first name that is an insult to France,” says Éric Zemmour in return.

For the defense of the polemicist, these comments having been cut during the editing, they cannot be continued. The lawyer ofEric ZemmourMe Olivier Pardo, on the other hand, argued that his client’s statement, which Hapsatou Sy may have felt as “something unpleasant”, did not constitute “a racial insult” in law. He pleaded for release.

For the prosecution, Éric Zemmour, a “controversial regular” who “controls his word”, was indeed guilty of this offense. “The limits of freedom of expression have been crossed,” said the prosecutor. “We cannot insult under the pretext of freedom of expression,” said Hapsatou Sy, 41, who described at the bar the “wave of hatred” she had been experiencing for four years.

“Put in the closet” after this show, the ex-columnist had finally resigned from the Canal + group in August 2021. She indicated that she was now a “cosmetics entrepreneur”. Judgment was reserved for January 12.

READ ALSOZemmour affair: Did Hapsatou Sy premeditate her scandal?


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First name “insult to France”: 20,000 euros fine required against Zemmour