|President's Pal: Laine|
The ex-wife of a leading entrepreneur and liberal intellectual - who is a confidante to new French president Emmanuel Macron - told a court today: “It was like a movie scene,” when he attacked her and a 10 year-old boy outside his £7.7m Kensington home.
Qualified lawyer Mathieu Laine, 42, is accused of grabbing the arm of former wife Eleanore Salin, 40, and pulling her during a Boxing Day domestic last year.
“Suddenly I felt my arm was pulled and I heard screams, Mathieu. I didn’t see him coming, I was very surprised,” the mum-of-two told Hammersmith Magistrates Court.
Father-of-three Laine, of Palace Gardens Terrace has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault on December 26, 2016, claiming his ex wants to end his access to their boys, aged 10 and seven.
The court heard a crowd gathered in the exclusive road, drawn by Ms Salin’s screams, with Laine’s new wife threatening to call the police to take her away.
Laine, the founder of consultancy firm Altermind and UK sister company Hypermind married Alix Foriel-Destezet, the daughter of French billionaire Philippe Foriel-Destezet, after the divorce and they have a daughter together.
Ms Salin admitted hiring a private detective to track her husband after they split in March, 2015 and campaigned for her sons not to attend their father’s marriage, even petitioning the priest.
Ms Salin, also a qualified lawyer, had arrived at the property in a Uber cab with the young boy, following a day of stressful phone calls and text exchanges with Laine.
“It was a very distressing time, Mathieu put a lot of pressure on me. I was receiving a lot of text messages and phone calls.”
She claims her arm was sore for up to ten days after the incident. “I can still feel where Mathieu grabbed me on that day.
“My arm was red for several days. Mathieu grabbed the boy violently and the boy’s back was against Mathieu’s chest and he put his hand over his mouth and his legs were floating in the air.
“It was like a movie scene. He threw him in the house and I can’t remember what I did. I was in a state of shock.”
She told the court Laine pointed a finger at her and shouted: “You will pay. You are a dirty person and you will pay for what you do.
“He closed the door and I heard him saying awful things to the boy. He said: ‘You little stupid boy, little shit, little arsehole. You will pay for this.’
“I heard him hitting him twice and I went up the steps and knocked the door very loudly. I had the sensation he was in danger.
“I felt very dizzy, very shocked running down the street not knowing what to do, asking for help from the neighbours.
“I was desperately looking at my phone trying to remember the number of the police, 999. The Uber driver said: ‘I saw everything, I’ll call the police.’”
Laine, who has lectured in economics and political philosophy at Sciences Po, Paris - known as Paris Institute of Political Studies - claims his ex has an agenda for bringing the charges.
Laine’s lawyer Miss Orla Daly told the court: “There is a motivation behind what we say is a false allegation.”
Cross-examining Laine’s ex-wife the lawyer added: “He says you have taken advantage of a difficult situation that night to ensure he does not have contact with his sons.
|Swish: Palace Gardens Terrace|
“That is something you have been trying to achieve for a very long time,” said Miss Daly, suggesting Ms Salin had threatened to end Laine’s access: “By any means possible.”
The defendant had to take his ex to the Family Court, who ruled he could have the sons five days every fortnight.
Ms Salin admits she was left reeling by their split. “I was shocked because it happened so abruptly.”
She also conceded being unhappy about the prospects of her sons attending their dad’s marriage. “I’m a Catholic and shocked the boys would have to attend a wedding so soon.”
Earlier the boy told the court: “He held me against the wall and he hit me when I was running, he ran too. He grabbed me and hit my leg.”
The youngster described the force of the blow as five-out-of-ten, however when police officers questioned him at the scene he denied being struck.
The trial will continue on July 17.