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Margaux Pinot: “I thought I was dead,” says French judoka as partner released on domestic violence charges

Pinot, an Olympic champion, made headlines in France this week after posting photos of her bruised face on social media.

She held a press conference accusing her partner and judo trainer Alain Schmitt of assaulting her.

Pinot was baffled that the Bobigny court did not clear the case against him.

“I thought I was dead, I managed to escape to take refuge with my neighbors who immediately called the police. I have several injuries including a broken nose and 10 days of Temporary Interruption of Work”, Pinot wrote in a tweet.

Schmitt, who has been coaching Pinot for four years, told BFMTV that they have been “in a very complicated relationship” for two years.

“A lot of people know that … It’s difficult to determine when we are or when we are not together, it breaks so often, it comes back,” he added.

Speaking to CNN on Friday, Madid said he was “shocked” by the court’s decision.

“I am stunned by the decision that was handed down at first instance since, in a way, the evidence was gathered to lead to a conviction,” Madid added.

Schmitt appeared on CNN affiliate BFMTV on Friday with bruises on his face, refuting Pinot’s claims and accusing him of lying.

“There was not a single punch, not a single kick,” he said. “She says she didn’t put her hands on me, that means I hit her and she didn’t put her hands on me, are you serious?”

However, during Pinot’s press conference, she said she didn’t even try to defend herself and tried to calm him down.

“I tried to stop him, I said: ‘Alain, stop, stop.’ I didn’t even defend myself, I tried to calm him down, to stop him. “

Pinot’s attorney, Madid, said in court Schmitt “deftly” insisted on points “more related to the personality of the plaintiff, my client, than to the conditions under which their story unfolded.”

Madid added that he plans to refocus the debate in court when an appeal is heard in the coming months.

Malik Behloul, Schmitt’s lawyer, commenting this week on BFMTV, said it was not possible “to say who hit who, (and) the doubt is to the advantage of the accused and it must therefore be released “.

CNN could not reach Behloul for comment.

The Bobigny court released Schmitt on the basis of lack of sufficient evidence, according to BFMTV.

Margaux Pinot: “I thought I was dead,” says French judoka as partner released on domestic violence charges

Bobigny prosecutor Eric Mathais told CNN that the prosecution is also appealing the court’s decision as allowed by the French courts.

“The defense has supported the acquittal, the prosecution has requested a conviction, the court ruled in favor of the defense, we are appealing,” Mathias wrote in a tweet.

On social media, Pinot supporters have expressed their “sadness” and “anger” at the decision to release Schmitt.

Violence against women in France has come to the forefront of public debates in recent years, with great media attention focused on the dozens of women killed by their partners each year.

In 2020, the security forces reported 159,400 victims of domestic violence committed by partners (or former partners), according to the country’s Interior Ministry, an annual increase of 10% which includes 139,200 women.

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“What is their slanderous defense against my injuries, the blood spilled on the floor of my apartment?” What was left? So that I may die? Pinot wrote in another tweet.

“It was probably judo that saved me. My thoughts are with the women who couldn’t speak.”

This story has been updated to clarify that Rachid Madid is Margaux Pinot’s lawyer for her appeal.


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