Outreau affair: “no accused should have left prison”, the last testimony of one of the Delay children

Outreau affair no accused should have left prison the last

The children of Myriam Badaoui and Thierry Delay still live with this heavy past of the Outreau affair. Jonathan, one of the three sons, testifies in a Netflix documentary released on March 15.

[Mis à jour le 15 mars 2024 à 15h23] Jonathan Delay, one of the three sons of Myriam Badaoui and Thierry Delay, has spoken out again in a new documentary series on the Outreau affair, one of the biggest French legal disasters, broadcast on Netflix since this March 15, and called Outreau, a French nightmare. In these four episodes, he recounts what he suffered during his childhood and reacts to the acquittal of 13 people out of the 17 accused. He says he does not understand why they are exonerated and believes that these people remain involved. “None of the accused should have been released from prison. But that’s only up to me, unfortunately,” he laments. If the legal disaster, which led to the conviction and detention of thirteen innocent people, remains in everyone’s minds, young children were indeed victims of gang rape and psychological abuse. Four people were found guilty: their mother Myriam Badaoui, her ex-husband Thierry Delay and a couple of neighbors. Eight other children were found victims of rape during the case’s trials in 2004 and 2005.

For the first time since the 2006 parliamentary commission of inquiry, judge Fabrice Burgaud speaks in this new documentary. He answers questions calmly, remains distant and cold and sticks to the facts. “Fortunately there are defense mechanisms, otherwise we go crazy (…) If I have to have a thought, it is for the victims, who have been completely denied.”

The France 2 documentary series was poorly received by Jonathan Delay

This is the second documentary series to deal with the case. On Tuesday January 24, France 2 broadcast the last episodes of theOutreau affair. If Olivier Ayache-Vidal, one of the two directors with Agnès Pizzini, assured France Télévisions of having held “to this [que les protagonistes] feel proud to have participated” in the project, the desired feeling was certainly not shared by everyone. “Overplayed, caricatured and far-fetched. Far from the dream that was presented to me when the project was announced”, denounced one of the Delay children, Jonathan, on Twitter, calling neither more nor less “for a national boycott of this series” which he did not fail to describe it as “abominable hoax”.

In the columns of Parisian, the young man explains the reasons for his anger. “I gave almost nine hours of interview, of which the production kept three minutes. The rendering that was made is the antithesis of the commitment made by the production. It was taken out of context, overplayed and defamatory”, he assures, adding: “It’s always the same speech: lying children with a mythomaniac mother and an incompetent judge locked up 13 innocent people in prison for nothing. These people were not exonerated, they were acquitted for some with the benefit of the doubt.”

For Jonathan Delay, “92% of the time is devoted to the words of the innocent compared to only 8% to children, their defenders and social workers.” He thus accuses France Télévisions of “total bias in favor of those acquitted”. Finally, the 28-year-old young man believes he has been poorly represented. “When you watch the series, you get the impression that I regret having lied. […] But I didn’t lie, the children didn’t lie. That’s what I would have liked to be allowed to say. I’m mad, I’m furious.”

A chaotic journey for children Delay

The lives of Thierry Delay and Myriam’s children have been very chaotic. In 2015, during another trial to judge Daniel Legrand, an acquitted person subsequently accused by three of the Delay children, Chérif Delay spoke about his journey. Aged 25 at the time, he recounted being quickly marginalized and being tried for domestic violence: “I ended up homeless on my 18th birthday, drinking, smoking, taunting the police. […] I have ups and downs. I even became violent with my partner, that’s why I’m incarcerated… I have the impression of reproducing certain things from my past, basically violence,” he said on the stand. Chérif Delay has since had several stays in a psychiatric hospital, he has also been convicted 14 times by the courts since 2008 and imprisoned 7 times for theft, death threats and violence.

In March 2022, he recounted his relationship to violence during a new trial for domestic violence against two former partners, before the Versailles court: “I don’t like women, I have a problem with that. “take responsibility for my violent side. I am not responsible for who I am, but I am responsible for what I do”, adding: “My companions toasted. I wanted to kill them, I knew what I was going to do “, he said. Chérif Delay was indicted for attempted murder.

Jonathan Delay, who speaks in the Netflix documentary, wrote a book to recount the suffering he endured during his childhood and in recent years. Beyond irreparable was published on February 24, 2021 by Louise Courteau. Jonathan Delay also created an association to support child victims of sexual abuse, and a few years ago confided to the Parisian, “struggle”. Returning to the release of his parents in this same interview given to the capital’s daily newspaper in 2016, he indicated that he had not seen his mother again and brushed off the subject of the recent release, at the time, of his father: “I ‘fuck. He does his life, I do mine!’

Dimitri Delay remains more discreet, he agreed to speak in 2013 in Le Point, on the occasion of the release of a documentary film on the Outreau affair. “I no longer believe in justice; for me, justice creates injustice,” he said, adding: “This affair consumes us from the inside, it continues to haunt us. As we grow up, we have the impression of being hated by everyone. I try to get by, to work in my specialty: welding. I have a roof over my head, I eat my fill. […] To evacuate, to relieve myself, I write rap lyrics.” The Delay brothers do not have peaceful relations. “It remains very complicated,” Jonathan told Le Parisien.