One of the icons of French-Canadian music has been toppled this weekend by claims by his niece and other family members that he abused them sexually when they were very young.
The niece, Sophie Bernier, discloses in an interview with Le Soleil that Françoys Bernier, chief conductor of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and founder of the Domaine Forget academy, invaded her bed and abused her from the time she was fourteen years old. A cousin corroborates her account of his conduct. Her mother, too, admitted that her brother groped her as a young girl.
«Écoute, c’était Françoys Bernier, le grand Françoys Bernier. Il était en train de construire le Domaine Forget, c’était son moment de gloire, tout le monde était subjugué par lui. Il était un Dieu. Et c’était un milieu extrêmement fermé.»
Bernier died in 1993, aged 65.
Shocking even among the present torrent of sexual harassment.