On May 4, 2023, the biographical book La Secrète was published by Éditions de l’Archipel. In this book, Bérangère Ponte, journalist for Franceinfo, reveals the details of Elisabeth Borne’s private life. But on May 10, the Prime Minister asked for the deletion of certain passages from this biography. What does she want to hide about her private life?
“The Prime Minister is a complex mixture of fragility and strength”, can we read in the investigation of Bérangère Ponte. The biographical book thus retraces his personal and professional journey, but also paints his portrait. Invited on the set of BFMTV, the journalist explains that “it is the fruit of a family history which is very painful” and on which the latter could have spent well over a year.
We learn more about the past of the Prime Minister who grew up far from her father, deported, “and [who] never comes back completely”, specifies Bérangère Ponte. Indeed, on his return from Auschwitz, Joseph Borne put an end to his life. Elisabeth Borne was then eleven years old. The Franceinfo journalist seeks to highlight in this investigation the way in which this event forged her personality. From childhood, “she shielded herself, she cut herself off from her emotions,” adds the author. She portrays the minister as a secretive and image-conscious woman.
But the chosen one had already spoken openly about this dramatic passage in her life. So what are the uncovered secrets that trouble him? Why is she trying to hide part of her personality and background?
A few days after the autobiographical book went on sale in bookstores, Elisabeth Borne decided to take the publisher to court to have the book withdrawn from commerce, according to information collected by AFP broadcast by Franceinfo. The Prime Minister wishes in particular the withdrawal of the passages “referring to his health and his sexual orientation”.
In this autobiography, the journalist Bérangère Ponte evokes her possible relationship with a woman, information which had been denied by Elisabeth Borne last August in her interview with the magazine Têtu during a trip to an LGBTQIA center in Orléans. She also wants secrets about her family life removed in the event of a reprint.
But the publishing house considers that erasing these passages makes the book lose all its substance.
Asked by BFMTV, the relatives of the head of government specify that she does not “want the withdrawal of the book but requests the withdrawal, in the next editions in the event of reprinting” of certain passages, under penalty of 1,000 euros per violation found. The Prime Minister then claims one euro in damages and 5,000 euros in legal costs.
Elisabeth Borne’s lawyer considers that “this information does not [can] fall within the scope of a legitimate freedom of information of the public”. Faced with this news, the publishing house defends the work of the journalist Bérangère Ponte and evokes the “fruit of a year of investigation, dozens of interviews including two long interviews with Ms. Borne as well as others with prominent members of his cabinet, his family and his close circle of friends”. All have given their consent for this biography.
A hearing is scheduled for May 24. Case to follow.