In 2020, Sarah Abitbol accused her ex-trainer of raping her when she was 15. For years, she had “forgotten” about this assault until she had a flash.
“I was raped at 15. It was the first time a man touched me.”. Thirty years after the events, Sarah Abitbol had decided to break “such a long silence” in a moving book, published in January 2020. In it, the former skater accuses her coach at the time of having raped her on several occasions. “I should be happy, Mr. O (this is how she refers to her former trainer, Gilles Beyer, in the book, editor’s note), but I can’t do it. I am a handicapped person, walled in the anguish. In my head, I am prey. At 15, I slept away from home, I was vulnerable, and you took advantage of it, she writes in particular. For two years, you regularly told my mother: ‘Tonight, I’m keeping Sarah to train her.’ And you rape me in the parking lot, locker rooms and in corners of the rink that I didn’t even know existed.” If Sarah Abitbol took years to put a word on this aggression, it is because her mind did everything to make her forget it.
“The brain does something very, very well: it’s that when you’re a child and the impossible, the irreparable happens, it puts that aside to protect the child”, explained the ex-sportswoman on the set of It starts today, December 8, 2020. For eleven years, Sarah Abitbol therefore “forgot” the rapes of which she was the victim. “I woke up from this amnesia when I met my fiancé. I admit everything to be happy: I was the star of Holiday on ice, I was sailing between Germany and France… And he always saw sad”, remembered Sarah Abitbol. At that time, his companion “detected something wrong”. Until the day he helped her remember. “One evening, we were in the bedroom and he put his hand on my shoulder and he said to me: ‘Sarah, you have to tell me, I think there is something very serious what happened in your childhoodcontinued the figure skating champion.
A damning investigation
“And there, I have a flash on these eleven years of amnesia and I see my trainer sitting on my bed, saying to me: ‘You don’t find it weird that I’m sitting here? It’s a secret, don’t worry'”continued Sarah Abitbol on the France 2 set. “start to cry” until you vomit. “It came like an atomic bomb, she described. And it came back little by little.” After the publication of his book, Gilles Beyer recognized “intimate relations with her” : “While my recollection of their exact circumstances differs from his, I am aware that, given my position and his age at the time, these relations were in any event inappropriate”. Six months after the revelations of Sarah Abitbol, who did not file a complaint because the facts are time-barred, the general inspectorate mandated by the Minister of Sports has delivered its report. “More than twenty coaches would be implicated”, she wrote. In September 2020, an investigation was opened for rape and sexual assault by a person having authority over a minor
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