Cleared: Macron friend ‘trapped in Kafka ordeal’
A CLOSE friend of the French president has been cleared of attacking his exwife outside his London home after claiming he had been trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare.
Mathieu Laine, 42, a French intellectual, had been accused of grabbing Eleonore Salin when she turned up at his £7.7million house overlooking Kensington Palace on Boxing Day last year.
He was also accused of hitting a 10-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.
But Mr Laine, who is a close confidant of Emmanuel Macron and has written about how the president can “heal” France, claimed his ex-wife was a “fantastic manipulator”, who had fabricated the allegations in a bid to hurt him and drive a wedge between him and his two sons.
He was found not guilty of two counts of assault by beating following a two-day trial at Hammersmith magistrates’ court.
Judge Karim Ezzat said Ms Salin, a trained criminal lawyer, was “an unreliable witness” and a “woman battling with the unexpected end to a relationship”.
Mr Laine, the founder of consultancy firm Altermind and UK company Hypermind, split from Ms Salin in March 2015. He later married Alix Foriel-destezet, the daughter of French billionaire Philippe Forieldestezet. Ms Salin admitted hiring a private detective to track her husband and campaigned for her sons not to attend their father’s marriage.
Mr Laine told the court: “I have never hurt anybody in my life, I am not that sort of guy, it is crazy to say that. It is lies, all lies. I am not someone that loses control.”
He added: “It was like Kafka, the book, The Trial. It was a nightmare.”
Mathieu Laine was cleared of beating ex-wife Eleonore Salin