Control Tower

Hell Hath No Fury

  • comments (7)
  • Print

"The French are glad to die for love..." So sang Marilyn Monroe in "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." The Swiss, however, are less cheerful about dead Frenchmen. On June 18, a Swiss jury sentenced Cécile Brossard to eight and a half years in prison for the 2005 murder of her kinky lover, Edouard Stern, during a BDSM scene.

Stern, a banker, was one of France's richest citizens. Brossard admitted shooting him while he was tied to a chair, dressed in a head-to-toe latex suit, wearing a dildo and a mask. But she said Stern had tricked her into thinking that he'd given her a million dollars, that he loved her, and that he wanted to marry her. Then he took back the money and, during the scene, taunted her viciously, calling her a whore. She "snapped," got the gun, and shot him multiple times.

Stern's scandalous death shocked the region's conservative investment industry. Prosecutor Daniel Zappelli pushed for a stiffer penalty, saying Brossard "showed cruelty" by not removing the latex suit from Stern's body after she shot him. Leaving him to be found in it ruined his reputation. (Obviously, Mr. Zappelli has no experience with latex bodysuits. Getting into one, alive, is laborious. Getting a dead body out of one sounds horrible.) However, it's widely speculated the relatively brief sentence reflects the Swiss government's wish to sweep the embarrassing incident under the rug.

It's an extreme example of how roles in BDSM relationships aren't always what they seem. I don't condone murder, and I certainly won't be sending Brossard any invitations to come play in my dungeon when she's released. But descriptions of Stern do not create much sympathy, either. He doesn't seem like a nice, well-liked guy. Certainly he wasn't noted for kindness or fairness—he once forced his own father out of a family firm. And the judge in the case remarked on Stern's "humiliating, harassing, and occasionally cruel" behavior toward Brossard. Just because Stern wanted Brossard to play the Mistress in the bedroom doesn't mean he wasn't a controlling, abusive prick to her.

A murder like this one isn't spawned in an instant. Any relationship, kinky or vanilla, can turn nasty. News stories called this a "sex-games slaying." But these two people had gone way past games. Stern didn't deserve to be murdered just for being an asshole. I believe Brossard didn't plan to kill him. But for good or for bad, doing BDSM often brings out strong emotions in people. The fact that Stern let Brossard start a scene with him, render him helpless and immobile, and then began insulting her about real-life, high-stakes disputes speaks volumes to me. A toxic BDSM relationship between two damaged people has the potential to spin desire, rage, sex, and violence into a tornado just looking for a place to touch down. If it does, the result will not be anything that looks like love. recommended


Comments (7) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Great article, MM! Just a reminder to folks who are playing the 'bottom'; no matter how powerful a person you may be most of the time, when you're bound and helpless, you're status may not mean s**t. Don't piss off your 'top', unless you're ready for the consequences. He's probably in the great beyond somewhere wishing he had been gagged so he couldn't talk his way into the fix he's in.
Posted by MrB on July 3, 2009 at 8:50 PM · Report this
Wonderful way of putting it in perspective... if only the main stream could understand.
Posted by Dirty_Sox on July 6, 2009 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Wonderful how you put it into perspective... if only the main stream could understand!
Posted by Dirty_Sox on July 6, 2009 at 1:01 PM · Report this
I dont get this thing about the mainstream @3... the murder has nothing to do with the BDSM scene. it just happened during one, but it could as well have happened at breakfast... he might have run, but still. I think people give too much importance to the fact that they were in a BDSM scene. anyway, nice article.
Posted by girlinspain on July 7, 2009 at 7:20 AM · Report this
The Amazing Jim 5
Before they lock her up, can we give her a few of our bankers?
Posted by The Amazing Jim on July 7, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this
By European standards, eight and a half years in prison is not a "relatively brief sentence".
Posted by er on July 13, 2009 at 4:10 AM · Report this
I'm fairly shocked by this article. You seem to want to attenuate the horror of such a crime by describing the victim as "an asshole" and talking about the strong feelings spawned by BDSM. I get the impression you are being as partial and prejudicial about this crime as most of the mainstream media, it is just that you are being partial towards the opposite side as the media.
First of all you are basing your judgement of the victim heavily on the statements about him made by the murderer in her defence. This is hardly a trustworthy source.
But above all, how much of a nice guy or how much of a asshole he might have been is absolutely irrelevant in this case. She murdered someone in cold blood while the person presented no physical threat to her whatsoever and that is all there is to it.
Posted by Bruno_Pontiero on August 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM · Report this

Add a comment