French music magazine under fire after putting singer convicted of murdering girlfriend on cover

Betrand Cantat killed Marie Trintignant in 2003

French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles has been branded “disgusting” after putting Bertrand Cantat on its cover, 14 years after he was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend Marie Trintignant.

The singer was released from prison on parole in 2007 after serving four years of an eight-year sentence. In the court where he was found guilty of murder, it was revealed that he had hit Trintignant repeatedly in the head and waited several hours before calling the emergency services, after which she died in hospital.

After Les Inrockuptibles decided to put Cantat on the cover – he is promoting new music – users on Twitter have called the move “disgusting”, while the French Elle magazine has dedicated its latest editorial to Trintignant.

Elle‘s editorial, titled “In the name of Marie” and shown in the above tweet, reads: “On August 1 2003, Marie Trintignant died under the blows of Bertrand Cantat. Today, she is a symbol… her face has become that of all female victims of men’s violence. The face of 123 anonymous women killed by their spouse last year. That of 33 unknown women who, each day, report sexual assault in France. That of women harrassed and assaulted – of 216,000 complaints reported in 2016. For all these women, like the actresses against Weinstein, like Flavie Flament against Hamilton, it takes courage.”

It continued: “Marie Trintignant, we won’t forget you. It will take more than the obscene coverage of Bertrand Cantat (Les Inrockuptibles, October 11) to extinguish your flame. Virginia Woolf wrote: ‘A light here requires a shadow there.’ You are both this shadow and this light, the grief and the hope that one day this unbelievable violence will stop.”

Yesterday, almost a week after its cover was published, Les Inrockuptibles responded in a lengthy post that read: “Journalism isn’t just a moral posture that consists of thumbs-up and thumbs-down. The story of Bertrand Cantat has been part of the Inrockuptibles story since the ’80s… it was impossible to ignore it… To put him on the cover was questionable. To those who felt hurt, we express our sincere regrets.”

It ended: “The arguments that emerged in the last week motivate us above all to pursue in these columns our fight against violence against women… to relay these feminist ideas, as has always been the case. It was important for us to tell you that.”