Cipres/FFSG Press Release on the situation 12-16-2019

Vagabond

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In the US, morals clauses vary a great deal ... and may not deal with the specific conduct at issue. I was wondering if the issue is the same in Europe -- if so, and this kind of conduct is not specifically addressed, the show producers may be unable to cut Cipres, even if they wanted to.
If the attitude of the FFSG is anything to go by, the producers of Art on Ice probably don't even want to. 🤷‍♂️
 

overedge

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She could skate in shows with someone like Eric Radford. Her life is not over. Shows producers will support her if she decides to move on.
IMO she would have a very hard time doing that. She's a very talented skater and would be excellent in shows, either as a single or as part of a pair. But part of "selling" a show is the skater's competitive record, e.g. World, Olympic, or National medalist - and all of her major competitive successes were with Cipres.

With the exception of Ekaterina Gordeeva and, for a short while, Shae-Lynn Bourne, very few pair skaters or ice dancers have been able to make a professional career as solo performers. And pairs or ice dance teams that have only skated together as professionals haven't had long careers either, except when there were shows like Ice Capades.
 

Sylvia

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I checked AOI's FB page and it looks like they announced their headliner skaters back on October 21: Alina Zagitova and Javier Fernandez are featured first. Then Volosozhar/Trankov and James/Cipres are mentioned.

FFSG announced their post-Worlds French team tour (18 cities in France spanning 28 March - 18 April 2020) around the time of French Nationals earlier this month and James/Cipres are included: https://ffsg.org/evenement/artistique-lequipe-de-france-de-patinage-en-tournee/
 

overedge

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This is just a non-apology.

However, since Cipres himself has admitted to it, I hope this time there won't be people doing all sorts of mental gymnastics saying that he might have sent the picture to a minor unknowingly etc.
This.

And really, this "apology" comes across more as "please don't destroy my chances at the Olympics" rather than "I'm sorry for abusing your daughter" :rolleyes:
 

Orm Irian

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(I still assume she was not aware).
This article, like the previous one, is very careful not to link Vanessa's name with any allegations or even imply a link through proximity. The only times her name is mentioned, it's to give the context that she's Morgan's skating partner, and only skating partner; if they just wrote 'partner' readers might assume they were life partners too and therefore assign perceived responsibility to her based on that, because we all know the nearest woman is responsible for stopping any male's bad chioces, after all... Because of that I'm assuming that they currently have no allegations or information linking Vanessa to either the abuse, or the attempted coverup, and don't want to risk legal trouble by implying such a link.

Thank goodness that at least the psychologist put the right person out of all their various clients a that rink first.

And as others have said, there's no possible way that this was either a one-off incident or the start of the abuse. Child sex abusers don't start off at this pitch, they escalate to it.

He's not apologising for harming someone's child. He's grovelling frantically because he got caught at it.

ETA: Kimmy Repond is skating in Art on Ice this year. She's either 12 or 13, I can't remember which. I think, given that, the show has a moral responsibility to remove Morgan from the cast. There should be a cancellation clause that will allow them to do it, and without removing Vanessa as they should have signed individual contracts.
 
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hanca

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IMO she would have a very hard time doing that. She's a very talented skater and would be excellent in shows, either as a single or as part of a pair. But part of "selling" a show is the skater's competitive record, e.g. World, Olympic, or National medalist - and all of her major competitive successes were with Cipres.

With the exception of Ekaterina Gordeeva and, for a short while, Shae-Lynn Bourne, very few pair skaters or ice dancers have been able to make a professional career as solo performers. And pairs or ice dance teams that have only skated together as professionals haven't had long careers either, except when there were shows like Ice Capades.
That depends what sort of show it is. Will it be show where pairs and dancers come as established pairs/couples, or will it be a show where they are cast into certain roles and then skate with whoever is the partner in the fairy tale. For example, Soloviev had established career with Bobrova, but that didn’t prevent him skate in a show with Ilynikh. Rogonov skates with Ustimkina, even though he had career with Astakhova. Astakhova will be skating in a show with Deputat, even though they never competed together. Maisuradze is skating in a show with a partner with whom he did not compete. Hotarek is currently doing a show, and I don’t think Marchei is skating with him. Even Szolkovy managed to find some partner for shows when Aliona decided to continue with Massot. (I don’t know how many shows Szolkowy actually did, because soon after he got the offer from Mozer and went to Russia to coach Tarasova/Deputat, but being without Aliona didn’t prevent him taking part in the show).
 

AxelAnnie

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I'm not sure why you think this extra bit of information makes Cipres look good.
I don't think it makes Cipres looks good. Not sure what I said that would have given you that impression. What I meant was that Brennan may have left the information out of the original article so that she could have a second article.

IMO, there is NO WAY to make Cipres look good. AND - I don't think he should ever be allowed on ice...any ice.

Not that it matters, but I think Vanessa had to know what was going on.
 

overedge

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Oh FFS @AxelAnnie . Journalists don't hold back on information like this, especially when it confirms details in the story that's being written. It's much more likely that this information was given to Brennan after the first story had been released.
 

Orm Irian

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Oh FFS @AxelAnnie . Journalists don't hold back on information like this, especially when it confirms details in the story that's being written. It's much more likely that this information was given to Brennan after the first story had been released.
Or, as Prancer noted earlier, the newspaper was waiting until they had legal clearance to print the quotes from the 'apology'.
 

missing

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I'm not sure why you think this extra bit of information makes Cipres look good.
I will speak for myself and not for AxelAnnie.

The extra bit of information certainly doesn't make Cipres look good. Expressions of regret are by nature expressions of guilt. It makes no sense to say, "I apologize for something I didn't do."

But leaving out a three part message of expressed regret made me wonder why it had not been included in the original Christine Brennan article. I considered several possible explanations:

It had been referred to (if not fully quoted) in the original article but the editor of USA Today removed it.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had failed to ask the family if they'd had any contact with Cipres after the incident, and not having been asked, the family saw no reason to mention it.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had asked if there had been any other contact and the mother had forgotten about the message.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had asked if here had been any other contact and the mother lied.

All of these possible explanations carry their own set of problems (incompetence, faulty memory, deceit). None of them in any way suggest that Cipres has been maligned. But they do call into question editorial decisions, Christine Brennan's reporting and/or the family's version of events, which to me makes it an odd omission from the original article.

ETA to discuss holding back on publishing the "apology" until they had legal clearance to print the quotes. I don't know what kind of legal clearance would be needed or how it would be obtained but I don't see any reason why the original article couldn't have referred to Cipres's messages without quoting from them. The verbal threats made to the girl are referred to, so why couldn't the fact that Cipres had communicated with the mother also be included?
 
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pat c

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Not that it matters, but I think Vanessa had to know what was going on.
It doesn't and I disagree. Why would she?

Oh FFS @AxelAnnie . Journalists don't hold back on information like this, especially when it confirms details in the story that's being written. It's much more likely that this information was given to Brennan after the first story had been released.
Yep. If Brennan had this info it would have been there.
 

AxelAnnie

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It doesn't and I disagree. Why would she?
The skating world is very small. Skating rink even smaller. Coaches and skaters smaller still. Two partners.........tiny.

These are each symbiotic systems. My opinion (and I know this is not fact but opinion) the odds of her not knowing are about 75%.

This is an opinion. It is not to be confused as fact.
 

AxelAnnie

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I will speak for myself and not for AxelAnnie.

The extra bit of information certainly doesn't make Cipres look good. Expressions of regret are by nature expressions of guilt. It makes no sense to say, "I apologize for something I didn't do."

But leaving out a three part message of expressed regret made me wonder why it had not been included in the original Christine Brennan article. I considered several possible explanations:

It had been referred to (if not fully quoted) in the original article but the editor of USA Today removed it.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had failed to ask the family if they'd had any contact with Cipres after the incident, and not having been asked, the family saw no reason to mention it.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had asked if there had been any other contact and the mother had forgotten about the message.

It had not been in the original article because Christine Brennan had asked if here had been any other contact and the mother lied.

All of these possible explanations carry their own set of problems (incompetence, faulty memory, deceit). None of them in any way suggest that Cipres has been maligned. But they do call into question editorial decisions, Christine Brennan's reporting and/or the family's version of events, which to me makes it an odd omission from the original article.

ETA to discuss holding back on publishing the "apology" until they had legal clearance to print the quotes. I don't know what kind of legal clearance would be needed or how it would be obtained but I don't see any reason why the original article couldn't have referred to Cipres's messages without quoting from them. The verbal threats made to the girl are referred to, so why couldn't the fact that Cipres had communicated with the mother also be included?
OMG! Would you please do all my posts? That is exactly what I meant.
 

overedge

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@missing Brennan has been a journalist for many years, and she works at newspapers that have pretty high editorial standards. You might not like her reporting, but AFAIK other than that spat with USFS over her first book (which USFS backed down on), she doesn't have a record of having to issue corrections for her work.

With that many years of experience, and with previous experience in reporting on sexual abuse in skating, I would be extremely surprised if she made the kind of errors you are suggesting, such as forgetting to ask the girl's parents if there were any follow-up messages from Cipres after the incidents.
 
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Tinami Amori

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He's not apologising for harming someone's child. He's grovelling frantically because he got caught at it.
In order to apologize properly and to acknowledge harming someone, one has to understand that he did something wrong and caused harm....

And this idiot, i can bet on it, does not! i can also bet that he is not aware that sending naked fotos to an under-aged person is illegal, regardless of who asked for it or if it was a joke. Or he does not think it is a big deal.

I think this guys is in a different reality, which does not make his actions any less illegal or offensive.....

I posted this before, Cipres takes nude fotos of himself for fun, and sometimes uses a fotographer who takes porno/erotic fotos of naked man. Cipres posts these fotos on line, on his IG, but at least has the sense to "crop off" them just above the genitals. He is totally into himself, thinks he is hot, enjoys the swooning from ladies and girls who post "you're hot" and "what a hunk" next to these fotos. Some of the ladies who "swoon" are well known skaters and fairly young.

Cipres shortly after the news reinstated his IG account, and the "hunk fotos" are all there (two have been cropped to look more decent).

His girlfriend Lola Esbart is not only a pairs skater, but also a performer at Lido de Paris, where they ... hardly wear anything (just posting decent fotos).

To expect a decent apology from Cipres has to first understand that "he is hot in his own mind, and the whole world does not want to see him naked"... or at least that it is illegal.

There are people like him, unfortunately, who believe it is their right to expose their bodies to people, and they are not flashers, but people who think a) it is not a big deal, and/or b) that they are doing society a favor by eliminating inhibitions...

In our area on Castro Street in San Francisco, some years back, a group of nudists decided to "break such inhibitions" and invaded the streets and cafes. There are families with children who lived in the area, they complained.... Only to meet resistance from the nudists and some people in the community. These families where called "backwards", "freedom-killers", "conservative freaks".... But this is what these families had to see....... fotos from publications, but with nudity).

the nudists started to protest and fight for their right to be nude... and made special efforts to exhibit themselves to these families with kids...
 
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hanca

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The skating world is very small. Skating rink even smaller. Coaches and skaters smaller still. Two partners.........tiny.

These are each symbiotic systems. My opinion (and I know this is not fact but opinion) the odds of her not knowing are about 75%.

This is an opinion. It is not to be confused as fact.
That’s true, but for example, there were cases when a woman doesn’t know her husband has a second family. One would think, if you live with someone, you would know, and yet the man was able to hide the fact that he was a bigamist and had wife and children who he regularly saw. So why couldn’t Cipres hide something from James? They are just business partners. Do you know everything about your colleagues? Why not, if you sit next to them in the office, every day for 8 hours?
 

Vagabond

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That’s true, but for example, there were cases when a woman doesn’t know her husband has a second family. One would think, if you live with someone, you would know, and yet the man was able to hide the fact that he was a bigamist and had wife and children who he regularly saw. So why couldn’t Cipres hide something from James? They are just business partners. Do you know everything about your colleagues? Why not, if you sit next to them in the office, every day for 8 hours?
Indeed. It would not surprise me in the least if Ciprès, Fontana, and Zimmerman kept everything secret from her for as long as possible, which might have been until after Brennan started investigating.
 

MacMadame

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What I meant was that Brennan may have left the information out of the original article so that she could have a second article.
That makes no sense. Publishing this information after the first article raises questions including questions about her competence. Being able to write a second article benefits her in no real way since she's not a freelancer grubbing for her next article to pay the rent. (She's established and writes regularly.) Also, it was inevitable that she'd be able to write more articles about this topic as the case proceeds through SafeSport, they issue a judgment, and USFS and other organizations respond.


On another issue, I'd be surprised is the paper knew about it when the first article was written. If they were waiting on a legal release, they would still mention that Cipres had contacted the mother without actually publishing the emails. OTOH, the father is a lawyer and he might have wanted to get advice before they told the paper about the emails. That makes more sense to me -- that they didn't say anything at the time.

It still doesn't make much sense though. The emails make his guilt more likely and support their story.
 

screech

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The extra bit of information certainly doesn't make Cipres look good. Expressions of regret are by nature expressions of guilt. It makes no sense to say, "I apologize for something I didn't do."
Not quite applicable here, but in Canada, an apology alone legally cannot be held against you. Saying you're sorry something happened can be taken as an expression of guilt in many places, but in Canada, where people say "Sorry" way too often, an apology officially cannot be taken as an admission of guilt (unless being made while testifying). But then again, it's Canada.
 

Artistic Skaters

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And I have a question of my own: If he did do some coaching with her, wouldn't he have to have done so under the auspices of USFS?
Not if he taught her on the rink's FS sessions rather than USFS sessions (i.e. club ice, sanctioned competitions, etc.) The rinks can extend teaching privileges to anyone they want. This is one of the workarounds that predatory coaches have used in the past and it still seems to be going on. They teach the students on rink ice time and find someone else to coach them at competitions and other USFS activities.
 

missing

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Not quite applicable here, but in Canada, an apology alone legally cannot be held against you. Saying you're sorry something happened can be taken as an expression of guilt in many places, but in Canada, where people say "Sorry" way too often, an apology officially cannot be taken as an admission of guilt (unless being made while testifying). But then again, it's Canada.
I say sorry way too often, probably because my brother and sister-in-law are Canadian and it's rubbed off on me. And a pet peeve of mine is when people say sorry, meaning I grieve for you, and the person who they say it to replies, "why are you saying you're sorry. It's not your fault." That probably happens more on TV than in real life (in my social circle we're mostly glad when people feel sorry for us) but it greatly irks me when I hear it.

I'm sorry if this digression is annoying to you. And I'm truly sorry that I was the cause of your annoyance.
 

Zemgirl

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IMO she would have a very hard time doing that. She's a very talented skater and would be excellent in shows, either as a single or as part of a pair. But part of "selling" a show is the skater's competitive record, e.g. World, Olympic, or National medalist - and all of her major competitive successes were with Cipres.

With the exception of Ekaterina Gordeeva and, for a short while, Shae-Lynn Bourne, very few pair skaters or ice dancers have been able to make a professional career as solo performers. And pairs or ice dance teams that have only skated together as professionals haven't had long careers either, except when there were shows like Ice Capades.
Annette Dytrt never even competed in pairs and she does pretty well skating shows with Yannick Bonheur - Vanessa's old partner, of course. They've been partners for years and were most recently in Javier Fernandez's Revolution on Ice.
 

Excidra

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Any person who is a person of good moral character should not protect "their own" when those actions are abhorrent.

I am willing to bet that if Cipre were a black male accused of sending nude photo to underage child, and who has the protection of the federation that the outrage would be immeasurable. The fact that some people feel that the French Skating Federation protecting Cipre is part of human nature is exactly that, white privilege. That kind of opportunity is not afforded to people of color. E.g. Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.
 

Zemgirl

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Any person who is a person of good moral character should not protect "their own" when those actions are abhorrent.

I am willing to bet that if Cipre were a black male accused of sending nude photo to underage child, and who has the protection of the federation that the outrage would be immeasurable. The fact that some people feel that the French Skating Federation protecting Cipre is part of human nature is exactly that, white privilege. That kind of opportunity is not afforded to people of color. E.g. Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.
Has there been a lack of outrage in this thread or among skating fans who are aware of what happened? People are not surprised about the FFSG because, well, it's the FFSG. "Moral character" is not the first, or second, or 35th thing to come to mind there.

I don't recall Kobe Bryant ever experiencing serious consequences for what he allegedly did; Colin Kaepernik suffered worse for kneeling during the national anthem. But let's not go there.

ETA: if you mean that there was more public anger about Bryant, keep in mind that he was a star NBA player while Cipres is in a niche sport. That means that a lot of people are probably unaware of what Cipres did.
 
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Prancer

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ETA to discuss holding back on publishing the "apology" until they had legal clearance to print the quotes. I don't know what kind of legal clearance would be needed or how it would be obtained but I don't see any reason why the original article couldn't have referred to Cipres's messages without quoting from them. The verbal threats made to the girl are referred to, so why couldn't the fact that Cipres had communicated with the mother also be included?
Perhaps it could have been. But at the time that they ran with the first story, did they have good evidence that Cipres actually wrote it? That it had not been faked, edited or revised by a third party? That the selections that would be quoted in the article did not expose any information that should not be public due to pending or potential litigation? That the newspaper is not opening itself to a libel action in how it frames the apology?

This doesn't strike me as odd at all, but maybe that's just me.
 

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