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Le Pen awarded just €1 for snoozing photograph libel

ByHenry Samuel

JEAN-MARIE LE PEN has won a libel case against a French dancer who took an unflattering selfie in which the former far-Right Front National leader can be seen snoozing, open-mouthed, on a plane.

A judge ruled that the photo breached the 89-year-old firebrand’s image rights, but threw out his demand for €50,000 (£39,000) in damages as the picture was neither “ill-intentioned nor degrading”, awarding him just €1.

The photograph was taken by Brahim Zaibat, a professional dancer and former boyfriend of Madonna. Mr Le Pen said it breached his privacy and damaged his party’s electoral chances.

Mr Zaibat was seated directly be- hind Mr Le Pen, who has a string of convictions for anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and was recently ousted as the FN’s honorary president by his daughter, Marine.

In the photo, the dancer is seen grinning as Mr Le Pen takes a nap on a French domestic flight. Mr Zaibat shared the photo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, calling on followers and the French public to vote against the FN in the second round of December’s regional elections. Polls suggested the far Right was poised to win up to four of France’s 12 regions. “Let’s all vote tomorrow to give them a knock-out blow. To preserve our fraternal France,” read the text posted by the dancer.

The FN failed to win a single region. Mr Le Pen said the photo “was instrumental in the defeat”.

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