By Cindi Cook
PARIS (AA) - The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation on Tuesday involving Pyotr Pavlensky, a Russian provocateur and performance artist, and his girlfriend, Alexandra de Taddeo, over the release of a sex video allegedly involving former Paris mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux.
Pavlensky had already admitted posting the video that prompted Griveaux to drop out of the race last Friday. He had been the front runner of President Emmanuel Macron’s party, La Republique En Marche party, and hand-picked by the president to run.
Griveaux, 42, and a married father of three, has filed a legal complaint in the Paris court against Pavlensky's actions.
Pavlensky, 35, and Taddeo, 29, were arrested on Saturday in Paris over the incident.
Initially, however, Pavlensky's arrest also centered on charges of his pulling a knife on a crowd during a recent New Year's Eve party in Paris.
The present charges involve invasion of privacy and publishing images of a sexual nature without consent.
Pavlensky has a long line of outrageous acts, both in Russia and France, including his first scandalous act of wrapping himself in barbed wire outside St. Petersburg’s parliament, and setting the doors of a branch of the Banque de France ablaze in Paris's Place de la Bastille. He was granted asylum in France in 2017.
Griveaux has been replaced in the bid for mayor of Paris by Agnes Buzyn, who stepped down from her post of French health minister on Sunday to enter the race.