mitterand denies sex with "boys"

More on French culture minister Frederic Mitterand, and the 2005 tell-all autobiography that has come back to haunt him... In the 2005 book, The Bad Life, he admitted that he paid for sex with "boys" in Thailand, and now, his opponents want him out: French Culture Minister Refuses to Resign Over Paid Sex Trysts.

The reason for the sudden interest in Mitterand's book was his quick and energetic defense last month of the film director Roman Polanski, who is fighting extradition to the United States from Switzerland over a charge resulting from his having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Amid vocal, public calls for his resignation, Mitterand scheduled an appearance on prime-time television Thursday to defend himself:
"Yes, I had relations with boys," a visibly shaken Mr. Mitterrand told the interviewer on the TF1 network when he was asked about the passage in his book that talks about seeking out male prostitutes in Southeast Asia.

But he insisted that all his sexual partners had been consenting adults about his age at the time.

Mr. Mitterrand had referred to the male prostitutes sometimes as "garcons," or boys, and sometimes as "gosses," or kids, injecting some ambiguity about age into the debate.

Had he committed an error?

"An error, yes. A crime, no," the minister said Thursday, ruling out his resignation.
Here's a helpful tip for anyone thinking about serving in public office: if sometime in your wild youth, during your travels to, say, Thailand, you happen to pay for sex with young Asian "boys," it's probably an extremely bad idea to write about it in your widely published autobiography. This advice might seem rather obvious, but I guess not.

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