In 2006, Princess Victoria was sexually assaulted by a French photographer

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, visit the Matteusskolan School

Crown Princess Victoria is going to be queen of Sweden when her father passes away. She is powerful in the way many European royal houses are powerful: they own land, they employ people, and they view their royal roles as something akin to public service, part charitable work, party figurehead, part ambassador. Victoria is arguably one of the most powerful and well-known women in Sweden. And that didn’t “save” her from being sexually assaulted in 2006.

A French photographer has been accused of groping Sweden’s heir apparent Crown Princess Victoria. According to reports, Jean-Claude Arnault allegedly grabbed the princess’s bottom at an event organized by the Swedish Academy at its Villa Bergsgården in Stockholm in an incident that is said to have occurred around 2006. The Swedish Academy is the body that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mr Arnault’s lawyer, Björn Hurtig, told The Telegraph: “My client most strongly denies these allegations. He claims that these malicious rumors serve a single purpose; to blacken his name and damage him.” Hurtig has yet to respond to PEOPLE’s request for further comment.

One of the princess’s aides forcibly removed Arnault’s hand from Victoria’s buttocks, according to reports in Svenska Dagbladet and other local media outlets, including Sweden’s national broadcaster STV, who cited multiple sources.

“He was lurking behind (her) and I saw his hand land on her neck and go down. All the way down,” Ebba Witt-Brattström, a 64-year-old scholar in comparative literature, said. One of the Victoria’s female assistants immediately neutralized the situation, Witt-Brattström added.

“She just flew at Arnault. She grabbed him and pushed him away,” Witt-Brattström told Sweden’s Expressen newspaper. “The Crown Princess turned in surprise. I guess she had never been groped. She just looked like ‘What?’” At the time of the alleged incident, Arnault was 59 years old, and Crown Princess Victoria was 27.

In November 2017, the Swedish Academy was rocked by allegations made by 18 women claiming that Arnault had either groped or harassed them at a cultural center he ran or at Swedish Academy-owned apartments in Stockholm and Paris. French-born Arnault, 71, is currently married to former Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson, 65. He denies all accusations made against him. No criminal charges have been filed.

Sweden’s Royal Palace has not officially commented on the incident, but has previously indicated its support for the #MeToo campaign. Crown Princess Victoria, now 40, and her mother Queen Sylvia both personally visited a Stockholm theatre presenting actress’ accounts of sexual harassment within the entrainment industry in November 2017. At that time, Princess Victoria told local media that #MeToo was “an extremely important campaign.”

[From People]

What a disgusting, perverted man. It says something about male privilege, doesn’t it? That he felt he the right to assault a young woman who will one day be queen. If he treated Crown Princess Victoria like that, imagine how badly he treated those 18 women who have come forward. And think about all of the women who haven’t come forward. Obviously, it’s Victoria’s right to speak or NOT speak about this – she’s the victim and she doesn’t owe anyone anything. But I think she would get a great deal of support if she did speak out about this.

Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden's 72nd Birthday Celebrations

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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29 Responses to “In 2006, Princess Victoria was sexually assaulted by a French photographer”

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  1. OSTONE says:

    If this happens to royalty, who have all the privilege in the world and have aides and bodyguards around them all the time, imagine what the rest of us must go through. #metoo.

    • Mariposa says:

      For some perpetrators, I think that is part of the thrill.

      • Rumi says:

        Yes about power and control. Seeing women as just pleasure objects. All comes down to patriarchy, you have entire civilizations based on rules for men by men. Women are there to serve and pleasure them. Seen and not heard culture that is prevalent accross the world.

      • Exactly but people will tell you metoo is a political movement.

  2. deets says:

    And what saved her, when she was so shocked and hurt someone her so? Not her personal strength, not her decorum or position, but a bystander.
    No amount of personal strength can save you from an incident, but people can help, they can step up. This is what needs to happen more, and this is why education on abuse and harassment is important for everyone.

  3. Ally says:

    His whole Wiki page is about this. At least it’s great when these creeps live long enough for their crimes to catch up to them. Also, his wife is a treat:

    “Simultaneously his wife was accused of corruption, for not informing the members of the academy about conflict of interests when distributing subsidies for her husband’s cultural center. At the same time she was stated as the source of seven cases of premature information about the Nobel Prize winners.”

  4. LizLemonGotMarried (aka The Hufflepuff Liz Lemon) says:

    This is what I try to explain to men when they are confused. It’s not about privilege, or looks, or age. It is about men feeling entitled to women’s bodies. Period. The actions you can take afterward are absolutely tied to privilege (do I have the power to possibly take action against this man?) but the actions themselves-everywhere.

    • TQ says:

      Absolutely agree!

    • Alix says:

      One of my former bosses, a great guy and as woke as they come, acknowledged that, growing up, he and every friend he knew were all taught to view women as property. WTH.

      He once told me how he tries not to get too close to other joggers, especially women, because he’s physically quite intimidating and when he runs he pants so heavily he sounds like an obscene phone caller. He’s afraid that one day he’ll accidentally get too close, get pepper sprayed in the face, and collapse to the ground in pain, shouting, “It hurts! It hurts! But I know on some karmic level I probably deserve this! Ouch!”

  5. teehee says:

    I do not think there is ONE single woman on this PLANET, who has not been talked to or touched in some inappropriate way. And NO ONE is immune- no one is safe, no matter what you look like, what you say, what you do, how you dress, what your religion is– men just dont care.
    Inappropriate can be so many things– when she is too young, when she is not interested, when it is a mismatch in power (boss employee, customer employee, etc), when it is public, lewd, non invited, from someone you dont know… etc.
    I have been many times assaulted, even if I didnt “know it” at the time.
    I mean, I get it– you cant expect too mich of men to be entirely honest. yet you also have to uphold them to ethical and moral standards on at least a mose base and widely agreeable level. But they have yet to live up to this.

    And its so simple: if you dont know a woman, leave her the F alone. And get to know her and her body as she lives in it, not as you think about it in your misguided daydreams. So simple.

    • Carrie1 says:

      True. Even family members who are male not only couldn’t grasp it but they disdainfully mocked me for trauma as a result of experiencing stalking for 6 years, sexual harassment at work for 2 years, and rape by someone I nearly married at age 20. I’ve walked away from my family as a result if lifetime of abuse and then this was the final straw. It was hurled at me one year before MeToo by my gay brother. So, when I take a firm stand on no tolerance for men’s feelings anymore at cost of a girl or woman, or any women who support those men, it’s rock solid no going back.

      White males especially take their privilege for granted and too often do not care who it hurts, as long as they get their way. It’s abhorrent and inhumane.

      Amazingly, the one male who was not like this was my father. Ahead of his time. Brothers whined because he tried to teach them things. Just thinking about it is upsetting.

  6. Alix says:

    What a disgusting man, and a terrible story. Unfortunately, even a title has never been enough to protect women from sexual assault. It’s strongly suspected that the Russian Grand Duchesses were assaulted when traveling to join their parents in exile. Mary Queen of Scots was raped by the Earl of Bothwell and (what with it being the 1500s) forced to marry him.

    It’s all so horrific and it makes my blood boil at the very mention of “comebacks” or “rehabilitation” for people like Weinstein, et al. Would we be musing over the same possibility for child molesters? I doubt it.

  7. Merritt says:

    Status doesn’t protect a person from predators. If anything I think predators see royalty and celebrities as a challenge. Princess Martha Louise of Norway’s ex husband accused Kevin Spacey of groping him.

  8. sus says:

    There probably won’t be a Nobel prize in literature because of this guy. The whole Swedish Academy is in shambles because of him. Several members have vacated their seats because of an internal dispute about how to handle the situation.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    This predator needs to go to jail.

  10. Red32 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if assault is very prevalent in royalty/aristocratic circles where image is everything. People would probably be actively pressuring these women not to speak up.

  11. LAK says:

    Victoria (and her mother) has supported the #Metoo movement very strongly, attended rallies etc. No equivocation about whether it’s political or protocol appropriate.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Silvia also started the World Childhood Foundation over a decade ago, to combat child and adult sex trafficking. Madeleine works there now.

      She and Madeleine also refused to attend the Polar Music Prize in 2014, when it was awarded to Chuck Berry (conviction in human trafficking, sexual assault of a 14 year old).

      “I just felt in myself that this was not something I could accept. Unfortunately I received this information very late [about what he’d done] and when I heard this, I felt that it was not okay to be there, at the prize ceremony. So many people believe in me, in the charity Childhood and in the princess. It was a family decision and I hope that everybody can accept it.” – Queen Silvia

  12. Annabelle says:

    I might be proven wrong in the future, but I love this woman very much. I’m appalled to learn that someone treated her like that. It goes to show that even though you’re a woman of dignity and high prestige, men are still going to behave like sick pigs. I pray that man’s fingers rot and fall off in the middle of the night when he’s asleep.

    • Gigi LaMoore says:

      I love her too. She seems so authentic and wonderful.

      • homeslice says:

        I wish we would see would more coverage of the Swedes in general. The BRF is getting on my nerves!

  13. teacakes says:

    Disgusting piece of ****, I hope he rots.

    And like everyone said above – he did this to a member of royalty, someone who is supposed to be protected and guarded 24/7 from assault and unsafe situations. She may be privileged in other ways but literally NO woman on earth is safe, and in cases where women are public figures it’s probably even harder to talk about this (before #MeToo it was few and far between).

  14. Betsy says:

    I’m glad he’s getting his day in the sun and I do hope Princess Victoria speaks about it.

  15. Heather Levin says:

    I intervened last night when I saw a man who probably thought he was flirting but was in fact harassing a young woman. Her body language was so uncomfortable. I sat by her and told him that he needed to back the fuck off and start paying attention to how women reacted to him and just because he wants to talk to a woman doesn’t mean she wants to talk to him. He of course called me a name that I happily agreed with and he walked away. I asked her about it and she said she has only talked with him out of not wanting to be rude and out of fear of him getting mad at her. I told her as a women fear is something she will deal with her whole life and and listen to your gut and take care of yourself and remove yourself from people and situations as needed and on your terms and please don’t worry about being rude or hurting some guys feelings.

  16. Lotta says:

    I think that the whole thing with#metoo had much broader inpact on Sweden then it did in the US in the way that it mainly just affect the movie industry. Just to mention a few, a lot of politicians, tv-profiles, newspaper people, lawyers, high up politicians, had to step down or got fired. Great days for a angry feminist such as me.

  17. Lotta says:

    And the story with the Swedish Academy is must wider then the article above mentions. I’m not even sure if they will be able to give someone a Nobel prize this year. It’s such a mess and it all unraveled because of #metoo. 😊

    • Giddy says:

      Oh noooooooo! And Trumpie is so hoping for a Nobel after his Deplorables chanted it last weekend. Imagine all the women who could write #metoo comments about him.