Macron minister is accused of rape by former prostitute
A rising star in Emmanuel Macron's government faced calls yesterday to resign over rape allegations.
Gerald Darmanin (35), France's public accounts minister, is accused of an offence dating back 10 years. He denies any wrongdoing.
The calls were made after prosecutors started a preliminary inquiry into the allegations made by Sophie Spatz (46), a former prostitute.
She alleges Mr Darmanin pestered her into sex in return for promising to help overturn a suspended sentence for blackmail involving an ex-boyfriend.
She claims she only agreed to have sex because she was desperate to have her name cleared.
Cabinet colleagues rejected suggestions Mr Darmanin should resign as he had not been charged with any crime.
Mr Darmanin's lawyers said it was a "crude attempt to harm" his reputation and said he was suing Ms Spatz for slander.
He was expelled from the Republican party for joining Mr Macron's Republic on the Move.