Adrien Quatennens breaks the silence. The deputy from the North published a press release on all social networks late Sunday morning to return to the railing filed by his wife, Céline Quatennens. The coordinator of La France insoumise admits to having made violent gestures towards his wife, with whom he is divorcing. “I know that no explanation, no matter how harsh and no context, no matter how complex the situation, justifies this behavior,” he writes first. Adrien Quatennens describes his behavior and provokes several disagreements: “In one of them […], I grabbed her wrist. In our last dispute, […] I took his cell phone. She wanted it back and jumped on my back. I pulled away and she let go and elbowed me.
The Northern MP continues: “I think Céline was able to conjure up another fact, dated a year ago, in which, in a context of extreme tension and mutual aggressiveness, I gave a slap. I gave it away because it didn’t look like me, and it never happened again.I deeply regretted this gesture and then apologized profusely. At the end of the press release, the 30-year-old announces “pull back” of his tasks as coordinator for LFI. A debate took place internally in the process: Should we talk, or is the press release from the Norwegian enough? On Sunday afternoon, the movement issued a minimalist statement to swear by “his unwavering commitment to the fight against violence against women”.
Quatennens’ press release caused a reaction. Ecologist deputy in Paris Sandrine Rousseau wants to see him return his scarf of elected representative. She is not the only one: Many feminists are demanding that the young deputy resign. They relate the importance of the fight against violence against women to the movement and the actions of one of its central figures. Other music of the deputy of Paris Sophia Chikirou, who wants to turn the page: “There’s the pair of friends that we love and hate to see tear each other apart, she pressed on Twitter. There is the political leader, Adrien Quatennens, whom we admire for his honesty and selflessness. Leave them alone now!”
The keys to movement
The member of the Nordics occupies a central place in the rebellious machine. He is loved by activists and encouraged abundantly by the media. A programmer from a news channel explained to us last week: “When we think of La France insoumise, we immediately think of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and then, for the second time, of Adrien Quatennens, Clémentine Autain and François Ruffin.” Adrien Quatennens was born politically on July 10, 2017 during the discussion of the law authorizing the government to reform labor law. For thirty minutes, the representative from the North, a member of the social committee, calmly carried out the method (the decrees) and the government’s intentions, accused of, among other things, “trampling on a century of social struggles”. To refine his gestures, he practiced at home with a stopwatch while his hands rested on his ironing board. The big redhead wanted to make a name and a first name without the help of others. It works. Jean-Luc Mélenchon is amazed. He knew him from afar; he takes the time to discover it up close.
First involved in the associative world, Adrien Quatennens was not brought up in politics. His parents, a salesman in an optical shop and a manager at EDF, have always voted, “but never the same”. He quickly became a face of La France insoumise. He hits all the waves. At the gathering, he takes the time to chat with Jean-Luc Mélenchon. He asks her for reading advice to gain “thickness”. The latter one day said of him: “Adrien is a workaholic, everything interests him, he always asks for more. But he has no choice if he wants to reach the level destined for him. Some envisioned him as the next leader; other mayors in Lille. In 2019, Jean-Luc Mélenchon entrusted him with the keys to the movement, that is, the cap of “coordinator” of the LFI: Quatennens is not yet 30 years old and has a lot of ambitions. A deputy said at the time: “Jean-Luc will not name a successor, but he has made it clear that Adrien Quatennens and Mathilde Panot will have a choice in the future of our movement.” The other has meanwhile become president of the parliamentary group of La France insoumise.
“A slap is unacceptable”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon did not discover Quatennens’ decision on Sunday. The three-time presidential candidate – who is spending a few days at his house in the Loiret – has spoken to him in recent days. As during the episodes with Eric Coquerel or Taha Bouhafs, he defended his family in a message on Twitter. “Police knowledge, media voyeurism, social networks were invited into Adrien and Céline Quatennen’s conflictual divorce, he wrote on the social network. Adrien decides to take it all on himself. I salute his dignity and his courage. I tell him my confidence and my affection.” Attracts an avalanche of negative reactions, especially for barely mentioning the deputy’s wife.
“My affection for him does not mean that I do not care about Céline, he finally added three hours later. She did not want to be quoted. But I say: a slap is in any case unacceptable. Adrian accepts it. It is well.” Too late, the malaise is there: intransigent in words in relation to sexual violence, LFI above all since the beginning of the case seemed to want to open the umbrella over its prodigy. A member has sent us a message. The feelings were mixed. Satisfaction first: Adrien Quatennen’s train “quickly” the word i “provided” and he takes a step back. Then the doubt. She writes: “I understand that it is complicated, it is a friend and it is a private matter, but we must be above reproach because it is a central battle for our family. Today we are embarrassed and it shows.
Updated at 18:04 with the text by Charlotte Belaïch and Rachid Laïreche.