Cleared: Macron friend ‘trapped in Kafka or­deal’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Martin Evans Crime Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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