Justice. First name of Hapsatou Sy qualified as an “insult to France”: 20,000 euros fine required against Zemmour

The hearing was held this Friday, at the Paris Criminal Court. Eric Zemmour, former unsuccessful presidential candidate, appearing for “racist insult” after having qualified in September 2018 the first name of the columnist Hapsatou Sy of “insult to France”.

This exchange between the former columnist and the media polemicist took place during the recording of the program Sunday Earthlings, hosted at the time by Thierry Ardisson on C8. Eric Zemmour had also offered to substitute his first name with that of “Corinne”. During the broadcast, the scene had been truncated by the production, but the facts had still caused an outcry.

This ‘Corinne’ has haunted me every day of my life since 2018

The 64-year-old president of Reconquête! was not present at the hearing, unlike Hapsatou Sy, who spoke shortly before the hearing in the columns of the Parisian. In addition to a conviction, the 41-year-old former host says she is waiting for “the court to hear the consequences of Mr. Zemmour’s actions”. Hapsatou Sy evokes in particular the last presidential campaign, “where I was taken as an example as soon as it was a question of Christian first names. “In September 2021, Eric Zemmour had indeed affirmed, if he were elected, to want to enshrine in law the obligation to give a first name “French” to his children. He wanted to ban so-called “foreign” first names.

“This ‘Corinne’ has pursued me every day of my life since 2018 (…), even in the most intimate moments”, still delivers Hapsatou Sy, even in the delivery room for her second child, in November 2019, or an anesthesiologist allowed himself a joke. “He seemed to find it funny. I cut it short and asked that he no longer take care of me, ”she explains.

Deliberate on January 12

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

For the prosecution, Eric Zemmour, a “regular of controversies” 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 during the hearing. “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”.

For these facts, qualified as “racist insult”, 100 day-fines of 200 euros were thus required against Eric Zemmour, i.e. 20,000 euros in fines. The sentence requested by the prosecutor can be transformed into imprisonment in the event of non-payment. The case has been taken under advisement and judgment will be rendered on January 12.

Justice. First name of Hapsatou Sy qualified as an “insult to France”: 20,000 euros fine required against Zemmour