Jean-Claude Arnault ([aʁno]; born 15 August 1946), known in Swedish media as "the cultural personage" (Swedish: kulturprofilen), is a French-Swedish convicted rapist. He became widely known after several accusations of sexual assault levelled against him precipitated a scandal resulting in the resignations of members of the Nobel Committee and the postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature. These events occurred against the background of the Me Too movement. In 2018, he was charged guilty of two sexual assaults and sentenced to two years and six months in prison. He appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court of Sweden on the basis of judicial disqualification. On May 5 2019, the court decided not grant leave to appeal and the verdict from the lower court was subsequently enforced.
Arnault in Stockholm District Court during the last day of the trial in September 2018
Before his conviction he worked as a photographer and formerly the artistic director of the cultural center Forum – Nutidsplats för kultur ("Forum – Contemporary Scene of Culture") Stockholm.
Sexual assault allegations and rape convictionEdit
In November 2017, in the context of the Me Too movement, eighteen women accused Arnault of sexual assault. This caused the Swedish Academy to break all financial ties with him. Swedish media have reported that he groped Swedish Crown Princess Victoria at an academy event in 2006.
Simultaneously, his wife Katarina Frostenson was accused of corruption for not informing the academy about conflicts of interest when distributing subsidies for her husband's cultural center. The Swedish academy believes he has leaked seven winners of the Nobel Prize in literature.
Arnault denied all allegations. On 1 October 2018, Arnault was convicted of one count of rape and sentenced to two years in prison as well as a SEK 115,000 fine. Arnault appealed the verdict. On 3 December 2018, the Svea Court of Appeal increased the sentence and found Arnault guilty of two counts of rape and sentenced him to two years and six months in prison. The fine was raised to SEK 215.000.
In the wake of the accusations, Swedish Academy member Klas Östergren left the academy and academy members Sara Danius, Peter Englund, Kjell Espmark and Frostenson ceased taking part in the academy's work, leading to concerns about the future of the academy. On 27 April 2018, Sara Stridsberg left the academy in solidarity with Sara Danius. Due to the scandal and a perceived tarnishing of the Nobel Committee's reputation, the Nobel Prize in Literature was postponed until 2019. The New Academy Prize in Literature was created as an alternative to the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature.
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