Margaux Pinot: ‘I thought I was dead,’ French judoka says as partner is released on domestic violence allegations

Pinot, an Olympic champion, made headlines in France this week after she posted pictures of her bruised face on social media.

She held a news conference alleging her partner and judo coach Alain Schmitt assaulted her.

Pinot was bewildered because a Bobigny court would not allow a case against him.

Pinot wrote on a tweet: “I thought I was dead, I tried to run away with my neighbors and immediately called the police. I suffered a number of injuries including a broken nose and 10 days of temporary interruption of work”.

Schmitt, who coached Pinot for four years, told BFMTV they had “a very complicated relationship” for two years.

“A lot of people know about it… It’s hard to pinpoint when we were or when we weren’t together, it breaks down so often, it comes back,” he added.

Speaking to CNN on Friday, Madid said he was “shocked” by the court’s decision.

Madid added: “I was surprised at the decision made at the trial level because in a way, evidence was gathered to lead to conviction.

Schmitt appeared on CNN’s BFMTV channel Friday with a bruise on her face, denying Pinot’s allegations and accusing her of lying.

Alain Schmitt spoke to the press earlier this week.

“Not a punch, not a kick,” he said. “She said she didn’t put her hand on me, that means I punched her and she didn’t put her hand on me, are you serious?”

However, during Pinot’s press conference, she said that she didn’t even try to excuse herself and tried to reassure him.

“I tried to stop him, I said, ‘Alain, stop, stop.’ I didn’t even defend myself, I tried to reassure him, to stop him. “

Pinot’s attorney, Madid, said that in court, Schmitt “subtly” emphasized points “related to the character of the complainant, my client, rather than about the conditions under which their story played out. .”

Madid added that he planned to refocus the argument in court when an appeal was heard in the coming months.

Malik Behloul, Schmitt’s attorney, commented on BFMTV this week, saying that it was impossible to “say who hit whom, (and) the suspicion is in favor of the defendant and so he must be released.”

CNN could not be reached by Behloul for comment.

The Bobigny Court released Schmitt due to a lack of sufficient evidence, according to BFMTV.

Pinot held a press conference in Paris on Thursday

Bobigny’s prosecutor, Eric Mathais, told CNN that the prosecution is also appealing the court’s decision as is allowed in the French legal system.

“The defense favors acquittal, the prosecution asks for conviction, the court has ruled in favor of the defense, we are appealing,” Mathias wrote in a tweet.

On social media, Pinot’s supporters expressed “sadness” and “anger” at the decision to free Schmitt.

Violence against women in France has resurfaced in public debate in recent years, with much of the media attention focused on the dozens of women killed by their partners each year.

According to the country’s interior ministry, in 2020, security forces report 159,400 victims of domestic violence by a partner (or ex-partner), an annual increase of 10%, including including 139,200 women.

“What’s their slanderous defense of my wound, blood splattered on the floor of my apartment? What’s left? So I can die?”, Pinot wrote in another tweet.

“Perhaps it was judo that saved me. My thoughts are with women who can’t speak up.”


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