TF1 remains silent over Binet investigation


PARIS -- TF1 was declining comment Monday after TF1 International boss Patrick Binet was placed under investigation in connection with the death of a government official in his apartment this past week.

Fabrice Lesueur, chief of staff to France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel, was found dead in Binet's apartment Thursday morning.

Early autopsy reports suggested Lesueur may have died of cardiac arrest from mixing synthetic narcotic GHB with alcohol during a private soiree Wednesday night. Both GHB and cocaine were found in the apartment, according to police reports.

Binet was questioned then released from police custody Saturday, but will undergo further investigation and could face up to three years in prison and a 45,000 euro fine if charged with involuntary homicide.

While TF1's news programs and Web site have yet to report on the shocking news, the French press have plastered the story all over national newspapers and Web sites. TF1 has thus far remined mum on the incident, but industry insiders are wondering how much presence Binet, who Le Journal du Dimanche called "the most influential man in French cinema" in a story Sunday, will have at the Festival de Cannes in May.

"We have absolutely no comment on this affair," a spokesperson for TF1 said Monday.