Michel Venne categorically denies having, in 2008, put his hand on the thigh of his alleged 17-year-old victim and, if he admits to having wanted to kiss him a few days later, he maintains that he did not never tried to put his hand in his pants.
• Read also: Michel Venne case: a letter found upsets the trial
• Read also: Michel Venne’s trial: the complainant was in a panic fear of denouncing him
• Read also: Michel Venne’s trial: the complainant continues to defend her position
On the sixth day of his trial for sexual exploitation and assault, the 60-year-old man took to the box to give a very factual testimony, without too much hesitation.
The former journalist and columnist for Duty briefly discussed the circumstances in which he had known the alleged victim, then the role she had to play, in August 2008, as part of an event held in Quebec and organized by the Institut du Nouveau Monde, including he was the general manager.
“She was my assistant and accompanied me everywhere. She sent me messages, invitations, interview requests, ”he listed, adding that, during this getaway in the Old Capital, his wife was accompanying him.
Questioned by his lawyer, Me Lida Sara Nouraie, on the claims of the young woman who recounted having suffered an assault when, in a taxi, he would have put his hand on her thigh, at the height of the pubis, Venne categorically denied the facts.
Asked then about a second event that would have occurred a few days later, he told judge Stéphane Poulin that he wanted to kiss the young woman by putting a hand on her shoulder while they were in front of the hotel where the alleged woman was staying. victim.
“The event was very quick, but I felt she didn’t like it. Her shoulders were free, so I immediately removed my arm. I tried to reassure her by telling her that she had nothing to fear from me, but I realized that I could have scared her, ”he said.
A few weeks later, in order to clear up any misunderstanding, he met the young woman in a Montreal café.
She then told him that she thought he wanted to flirt with her and that, coming from him, it had “disappointed and shocked” her.
“I told him again that I had no malicious intent, that it was all a misunderstanding, that my arm on his shoulder was meant to be a friendly gesture, but that it was not the best gesture of my life since he ‘made her feel uncomfortable,’ he said.
In 2014, when the alleged victim publicly spoke about the fact that she had been the victim of harassment before, he felt “targeted”. It was from this moment, according to him, that the rumors started.
Rumors that endangered a position he coveted at Duty, which led him to contact Lise Payette for advice.
According to his testimony, there was never any question between him and the former Minister of the Status of Women, of the possibility that the young girl would sign a letter to exonerate him.
“Me, all I wanted was to understand. Understand why, in 2014, she had written false things in her blog, ”he added, specifying that he had been the first surprised, the day after the meeting between Mr.me Payette and the young woman, to learn that the latter had written a letter denying the rumors tarnishing Venne’s reputation.
The cross-examination of Michel Venne is scheduled to begin this afternoon.