Affected by allegations of sexual misconduct in July 2020, comedian Julien Lacroix is coming out of retirement. In a video interview broadcast in full by The duty, he discusses his personal journey and his approaches to the women who accused him. If he admits that he has not yet obtained their pardon, he is now considering a return to the stage. The reactions of the women who denounced him are mixed on this public outing.
Visibly nervous, twisting his hands while taking deep breaths, Julien Lacroix sits down in front of the cameras of the Duty. This is his first interview since he was the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct a year and a half ago. Why this public outing? “I had a little boy,” explains the 29-year-old comedian. “I want to start walking again with my head held high. I was still quite humiliated and I’m ashamed, he begins. I wanted to […] to show that it is possible to get down on one knee and apologize and roll up your sleeves and move on. “
In July 2020, a new wave of denunciations swept over Quebec. On July 27, in an article in Duty, nine women say they were victims of assault or sexual misconduct on the part of Julien Lacroix.
Even if he denied these allegations at the time, he assures that his vision of events has changed “100%” today and says he takes “responsibility” for what may have been reproached to him, without however naming these behaviours. “I will not comment on the allegations,” he said. Not for the purpose of legal protection, but to avoid adding fuel to the fire, he said. He prefers to raise these issues directly with the people concerned.
In a relationship with him for nearly six years, from 2013 to 2019, Geneviève Morin testified to having been sexually assaulted eight months after their breakup. Three other women alleged having had non-consenting sex with the comedian in 2010. They were 15 and 16 years old, Julien Lacroix, 17 years old. Five other women denounced inappropriate behavior between 2015 and 2019, some of whom said they had suffered unwanted kisses.
A few minutes after the release of the article from Duty, Julien Lacroix published: “I am not an angel, but not a demon either, and certainly not the sexual predator which rages for a decade like The duty describes me. “
Today, he explains: “ [Mon] reflex was to put me with an agency of PR [relations publiques], then lawyers. […] These people, they are paid to “protect” you, but I do not believe that in the end, it is a winner. They act, I think, like you’re a company, like you’re a brand, but on the contrary, you’re human. “He tried to correct the situation the next day in a second message:” I therefore sincerely apologize to people who were hurt or disappointed by my post. He then announced a professional break.
Julien Lacroix had difficulty living the repercussions of these denunciations. “I had a hard time receiving all this hatred […] It was really, really violent. “
A few weeks before the publication of our survey, in the summer of 2020, Julien Lacroix had started therapy to stop consuming drugs and alcohol.
His therapeutic process and his realizations, he says, accelerated after he found himself ” front page ” in the newspapers. “I was aware that I was disturbing, but I really didn’t think at that point to be transparent […] then I admit that it pushed me to go nine times further […] I was surprised […], but at the same time, I fully respect those people who have spoken. “
This time, he undertook a 21-day closed detoxification therapy at Maison Jean-Lapointe and continued his approach in outpatient therapy to this day. He also leads a group formed following the wave of denunciations, men “in search of recovery” who meet every week to share their thoughts. However, Julien Lacroix confirms that he did not consult specialists specifically for his sexual behavior.
“I don’t think that justifies anything, but alcohol and drugs are part of 95% of denunciations [qui me visaient]. It was a common denominator which is nevertheless important ”, maintains the artist.
But the other common denominator of denunciations is the absence of consent. Has he thought about this notion? ” Yes […], but I’m not going to dig in there, ”he answers first. Then he adds: “It’s wider than that. I think a sexual relationship is so delicate, it’s not for nothing that it’s so complex and that it’s so hard to talk about it. It is that we can live the same sexual relationship and have two different versions and that both are right, he maintains. Yes, I thought about that, I also thought about empathy [à l’égard] on the other, at the limit of the other. “
Contact women who have denounced his behavior
During his therapeutic process, Julien Lacroix contacted five of the nine women who denounced him, the other four having testified anonymously. In his messages, he opens the door to a meeting. Two had some written exchanges with him, but neither agreed to see him.
Five months after being denounced, he published a long message on his social networks.
“My partner was pregnant, and I wanted her to walk with her head held high when the world knew I was her chum. Then it was to open the discussion also with these people… ”he explains.
“I would first like to offer my sincere apologies to the people I have hurt. Know that I take responsibility for my actions and that I work every day to repair what I have broken in the other and in myself, ”he wrote.
He has received a lot of encouragement on social media, but his sincerity has been questioned by some of his whistleblowers. One of them found that her apology, which had a public impact, was totally premature. She saw it as a public relations operation to rehabilitate herself with a view to returning to the stage.
“There is nothing more peace that this message and I had contacted everyone before to be sure that, precisely, there is an opening before I publish that? Then that had not been the case, so I continued my process and my journey, ”he says.
Finally, Julien Lacroix confirms that he never formally apologized to the women who denounced him because he wanted to do so in person. Would he agree to do it in front of the cameras of the Duty ? “I can look at all the cameras and apologize deeply, but I don’t think it’s worth much. […] I’m really uncomfortable and embarrassed, then ashamed of all this behavior […], but I find that when it’s strongest and truest, it’s in private. And so he didn’t apologize.
Challenging his public denunciation
Julien Lacroix assures us that he supports the denunciations movement: “I understand that we are part of a revolution and a denunciations movement, and I am for it. He believes, however, that it would have been more beneficial if his case had been settled in private. ” The problem […] to make public denunciations […]is that it puts pressure on these girls […] I think it could have been a great opportunity also to sort it out not to have the pressure from everyone of “how are you feeling about that?” “He also said he had wondered for a long time” how relevant it was that this matter be public, because it is not [arrivé] in workplaces, it is parties high school, arrogance in bars and a toxic six-year relationship ”.
“It must be used for something all that”
Julien Lacroix clings to the idea that his approach can nourish collective reflection on the “after” of denunciations. “I can’t live that, receive that, have hurt people, have roughed up people, make my family go through this without clinging to ‘it must be of use to something’. He says he’s witnessing a growing awareness among young men on whose behalf he can speak, and stresses the importance of thinking about “boys who don’t. feelent not, who know that they have done something wrong, worse who want to look for resources ”.
“I wouldn’t even know what resources to give to someone who says to me tomorrow morning, ‘Hey, yesterday in a party, I was cave, what am I doing? ” […] I think we have to start preventing as quickly as possible and that comes with resources and to name things correctly. “
Go back on stage
Still followed by 133,000 subscribers on Instagram, Julien Lacroix says he is aware that his interview will not necessarily be well received, but is ready to try to reconnect with his audience. “My entourage, my family, we know it will have repercussions, it will bring back another wave of hatred …”
He believes he has remained a public figure to this day. “I think I’m still better known since all this for maybe other reasons, but gossip sites or stuff like that kept talking about me. […], I did not disappear from the map », He judges. “The advantage when you use humor is that you can rent rooms and do capsules on the Internet. [mais] if we don’t want to see you, we don’t see you. I do not impose myself on anyone. “
He wants to set foot on the boards again, without having a concrete project. “There is no hidden agenda. I know I want to start writing again, I’ve always wanted to achieve, the stand-up is part of me, so I know yes, I want to start working again, but I don’t know in what form again, ”he notes.
Did he think about the reaction of the women who denounced him and who are perhaps not ready to see him again on posters, on TV? “I wish these people would get better too. I wish that one day they could move on by sitting with me or without me. […] What I control is my approach. “
Could he have waited for their forgiveness? “There is no manual. I feel ready, I feel that those around me are ready, I feel that I have done the right things. […] I’m not tempted to become a bitter or angry guy. I know that even this interview will lead to a lot of thinking and will bring back a lot of interesting cases, I cling to that to move this dialogue forward. “