Incest accusation in prominent family prompts French national reckoning with child abuse

Olivier Duhamel, pictured in 2016, is a Socialist former member of the European Parliament and a renowned political pundit.

Editor's note: The article contains descriptions of alleged abuse that some may find disturbing.

Paris (CNN)It all started with damning allegations from book excerpts published in France's prestigious Le Monde newspaper as the new year began.

"I was 14 and I let it go (...). I was 14, I knew and didn't say anything."
"My stepfather would come into my brother's room. I could hear his footsteps in the hallway and knew he was joining him. In this silence, I imagined things. That he was asking my brother to stroke him maybe, to suck him.
    "I was waiting. I was waiting for him to come out of the room, full of unfamiliar and immediately despised smells," the book's author, 45-year old lawyer Camille Kouchner, wrote. "By not naming what was happening, I participated in the incest."
    More than a month after its publication, Kouchner's book, "La familia grande," continues to rock France.
    In it, Kouchner accuses her step-father, leading French intellectual Olivier Duhamel, of abusing her twin brother starting when he was 14.
    The twins are the children of former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
    Their step-father, Duhamel, is a Socialist former member of the European Parliament and a renowned political pundit who also headed the governing board of Sciences Po, one of France's leading universities.
    "Being subjected to personal attacks, and in an attempt to preserve the institutions in which I work, I terminate my functions," Duhamel wrote on Twitter on January 4, shortly after the accusations surfaced. The tweet coincided with his quitting the governing board of Sciences Po as well as leaving roles in an intellectual club and a political science publication.
    Duhamel has since deleted the tweet and his Twitter account.
    The book "La familia grande," written by Camille Kouchner, has prompted a national reckoning with child abuse.
    On January 5, the Paris Prosecutor's office announced it was opening an investigation into Duhamel for "rape and sexual assault by a person having authority over a 15-year-old minor," despite the statute of limitations having run out.
    CNN has reached out to Duhamel's attorney for comments but has not received a reply. The political scientist has not publicly spoken since his resignation.