Marc Sibard, manager of the reputed Caves Augé shop in Paris, has been found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual harassment and psychological harassment.
Always at the top of any list of ‘influential people in the wine industry,’ Marc Sibard has been one of the most powerful advocates for natural wine in France.
He has been at the head of the inimitable Caves Augé for over 30 years* and, in that time, has inspired, shaped and influenced a whole generation of consumers, sommeliers, winemakers but also, his employees.
* Edited to add: On Monday 10th July, I heard whispers through the grapevine that Marc Sibard may no longer be employed at the Caves Augé… but these are not (yet) confirmed.
* Finally: 31st August – it’s official. Marc Sibard has been fired.
Enough was enough for several of those employees who went to the police and made accusations against him.
After close to five years of investigations, the case was heard at the High Court in Paris (Tribunal de Grande Instance) on 9th June 2017.
I was one of the plaintiffs. I worked at the Caves Augé and for the Lavinia group in 2011-12.
In my case, the charges were for two counts of sexual assault and for sexual harassment.
There are other two former employees, who also filed as “partie civile” and for them: further counts of sexual assault, sexual harassment and psychological harassment.
Four other female employees had told, during the investigations, of similar problems they had had with him – which either had been settled out of court or brushed under the carpet.
Today, July 6 2017, we found out that Marc Sibard has been found guilty on all counts; guilty of sexual assault, guilty of sexual harassment and guilty of psychological harassment.
He now has a suspended prison sentence, has to stay off booze for two years and will have a criminal record… but do you know what, right now, the details haven’t sunken in. All my brain can process is that he has been found guilty, that the case is finally over and, thank God, it went in our favour.
If you missed it, this was my (rather cryptic) blog post last month, musing about justice – here.