Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky caught up in politician sex tape scandal is arrested in Paris

In one of his earliest performances in 2012, Pavlensky sewed his lips shut in protest against the jailing of members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot courtesy the artist

A Russian performance artist who gained notoriety by nailing his scrotum to Red Square in 2013 is embroiled in a new controversy after posting online a sex tape featuring a candidate running for Paris mayor.

Pyotr Pavlensky says he released the alleged video of Benjamin Griveaux, who belongs to President Emmanuel Macrons La République en Marche party, to expose “political hypocrisy”. Griveaux was expected to stand against the current incumbent Anne Hidalgo in the mayoral election next month but has since dropped out.

Pavlensky says he obtained the explicit video from a “source” who had a consensual relationship with Griveaux. In an interview posted on the France 24 website, Pavlensky says: “[Griveaux] despises his constituents. He was the only candidate to use his family to promote a political image. He told a big lie; he began his campaign with a big lie.”

Pavlensky has since been arrested but according to the BBC is not being held over the video; the artist is instead being investigated over an alleged brawl in Paris on 31 December involving “wilful violence with a weapon”. He could not be reached for comment.

Under French law, Pavlensky could face up to two years in prison for publishing sexual content without the consent of the participants. The artist says nonetheless that he plans to create a “political porn” website focusing on the behaviour of people in power.

Griveaux, a father of three, told Agence-France Presse: "A website and social networks have launched vile attacks concerning my private life. My family does not deserve this. No one should ever be subjected to such abuse. For more than a year, my family and I have been subjected to defamatory remarks, lies, rumours, anonymous attacks, the revelation of stolen private conversations and death threats.” Richard Malka, GriveauxRead More – Source