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Juan Branco

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Juan Branco
2019 - Centre Stage - Day 2 VJR21625 (49024215596).jpg
NationalityFrench, Spanish
EducationÉcole normale supérieure (Paris)

Juan Branco (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxwan ˈbɾaŋko], French: [bʁɑ̃ko], Portuguese: [ˈbɾɐ̃ko]) is a French political activist, writer and lawyer.

He gained notoriety in 2019 with his book Crépuscule, critical of French President Emmanuel Macron, and in early 2020, with his involvement in the Griveaux affair. He has been a supporter of the Yellow vests movement.

Early life and education

Branco was born in 1989 in Estepona, near Málaga. He is the son of film producer Paulo Branco.

He went to the École alsacienne, an elite private high school in Paris.[1] He is said to have had a "golden childhood" in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood of Paris, being acquainted to stars like Catherine Deneuve.[2]

He studied as undergraduate at Sciences Po and as graduate and PhD student at the École normale supérieure, where he was admitted without passing the entrance exam.[3]

In 2013, he assisted to a horse race in the desert at the invite of the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi.[4]

He wrote his thesis at the École normale supérieure in 8 months and this let him become a lawyer without having to pass the selective exam to enter in the school for lawyers.[5][6]

Political activity

As a student, Branco actively supported former right-wing Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, a friend of his mother's.[3]

Afterwards he supported The Greens (France) and then went on to participate in the campaign of future President François Hollande (Socialist Party). He worked several months during the campaign for future French Minister of Culture and Communications Aurélie Filippetti, who refused him a position of chief of staff after the election.

Branco then joined the left-wing populist party La France Insoumise. He stood in the 2017 French legislative election for Seine-Saint-Denis's 12th constituency where he placed fourth. His former running-mate stated that Branco "wanted to win a parliamentary seat and abandoned the party after the loss".[3] After he was refused a sufficiently high spot on the electoral list of La France Insoumise in the 2019 European Parliament election in France his support for the party ended and he called for an abstention in the election.[7][8]

He became a vocal supporter of the Yellow vests movement, some of whose members he also represented in court, including Maxime Nicolle,[9] and a critic of President of France Emmanuel Macron thereafter.[10]

In 2018 he outed the homosexuality of his former class-mate and government spokesman Gabriel Attal on Twitter.[11]


Branco's book "Crépuscule", in which he criticized the French president Emmanuel Macron, was published in 2019. It was commercially successful but received mostly negative reviews in the French press[12][13][14][15][16][17]

Legal advice and representations

He was in 2015 the legal advisor by WikiLeaks and met with Julian Assange, trying to help obtain asylum for Assange in France.[18][19]

Branco passed the bar in 2017, and, in 2019, have had 3 clients in two years, including his father, and was receiving welfare assistance (Revenu de solidarité active) during that time.[20][21]

He has represented his father Paulo Branco and won his case against Terry Gilliam in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote case.[22]

In 2021, he represented one of the defendants in the Mila affair cyberbullying case.[23]

Griveaux affair

In February 2020 it was reported that he was representing the Russian activist Petr Pavlensky both before and after the latter leaked sexually explicit videos depicting Benjamin Griveaux, then candidate in the mayoral elections for Paris. Multiple sources claim that Juan Branco was himself involved in the leak,[24] a criminal offense under French law.[25] This was denied by Branco.

Pavlensky was arrested on 14 February 2020 for stabbing two people during a New Year's Eve party organized by Branco and his girlfriend in a Paris flat owned by the latters' parents.[26]

After Branco was hired by Pavlensky as his defense attorney, the chairman of the French bar association opened an inquiry into the appropriateness of the defense in light of Branco's involvement in the affair. No conflict of interest was found but Branco was advised to step down as Pavlensky's defense attorney nonetheless due to a "lack of distance".[27] Branco originally followed the advice but later reverted his decision and joined the defense of Pavlensky once more.[28] Branco went on to request a psychological evaluation of Griveaux, the victim of the alleged crime, whose defense called the request "grotesque and hateful". The request was denied by the examining magistrate as it was deemed "not useful for the establishment of the truth".[29]

In October 2020, it was reported that disciplinary proceedings are being pursued against Branco by the Paris Bar Association following his involvement in the affair.[30]

Controversial claims

Branco claimed to have been chief of staff of the French Minister of Culture and Communications Aurélie Filippetti,[31] but Filippetti denied it. She later stated that he "demanded to be hired as her chief of staff at age 22", that he "completely lost it when he was refused the position" and told her that he recorded their conversations. She describes him as "dangerous, intelligent and skillful", as "megalomaniacal, a compulsive liar and very, very manipulative".[7]

In 2016 he solicited Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the group directly involved in the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 (in which 130 people were killed and 683 others were injured), proposing in a letter to help in his legal defense and claiming to be representing Julian Assange.[32][33] As he was not admitted to the bar and therefore not legally permitted to practice law at the time, one of the French lawyers representing Abdeslam characterized Brancos actions as attempted fraud.[34]

In 2018, L'Express stated that Branco is making false statements on his CV and elsewhere. After Branco defended himself from this accusation, L'Express provided additional information to prove their claims. Branco claimed to have been a lecturer at the École normale supérieure, but the school told L'Express that it refers to an exercise for students that every student of the school do. He also claimed "never having created a Skyblog", but L'Express provided captures of the blog he co-administered during his high-school years. The blog invited the pupils to rate the girls in the school according to their physique and use the word "blondasse" ("blondie").[35]

Branco has previously claimed that he worked as a "special assistant" to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Asked for a clarification by the French journal GQ France, the Court responded that Branco ""claims to have been the assistant of the Prosecutor (..) while in reality he was an intern (...) and then worked at the OTP Public Information Unit".[36]

In 2018, he accused peacekeeping forces of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) of having been involved in a massacre in the city of Bangui - an accusation denied by MINUSCA - he was expelled from the country.[37] He had been tasked as an independent expert for the United Nations with developing a strategy for investigations conducted by the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic. He was fired by the UN less than a week after his mission started. [38]

Private life

Branco was accused of rape in April 2021[39] and taken into police custody on 1st June.[40] The woman said that every step was consensual, stayed over during the night and did not ask herself for a prosecution.[41]

Self-promotion on Wikipedia

Juan Branco has been editing his own Wikipedia pages for many years, attempting to embellish his biography. He makes his edits under multiple identities, using what are known as sockpuppets. He has also edited articles of others to "settle accounts" by portraying them in a negative light.[42]

He once wrote a threatening letter to the employer of another Wikipedia editor, pretending to be a "Wikipedia administrator" named "Addas Karadas" and threatening legal action.[43]


  • Réponses à Hadopi (Paris, Capricci, 2011, ISBN 978-2918040255)[44]
  • De l'affaire Katanga au contrat social global: Un regard sur la Cour pénale internationale (Paris, 2015, LGDJ-IUV, 2015, ISBN 978-2370320582)[45]
  • L'ordre et le monde (Paris, Fayard, 2016, ISBN 978-2213680880), edited by Alain Badiou and Barbara Cassin[46]
  • D'après une image de Daesh (Paris, Lignes, 2017, ISBN 978-2-35526-164-0)[47]
  • Contre Macron (Edition Divergence, 2019, ISBN 979-1097088125)
  • Crépuscule (Paris, Au Diable Vauvert, 2019) ISBN 979-1030702606
  • Assange, l'antisouverain (Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 2020) ISBN 978-2204133074


  1. ^ "Juan Branco, le radical chic qui veut la peau de la Macronie". 11 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Juan Branco, itinéraire d'un enfant gâté devenu activiste sans scrupule" (in French). Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  3. ^ a b c Tabet (March 2020). "Dans les réseaux de Juan Branco". Le Parisien (in French) (23487): 20–23.
  4. ^ "Juan Branco, le radical chic qui veut la peau de la Macronie". 11 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Des grandes écoles aux "gilets jaunes" en passant par WikiLeaks : Qui est Juan Branco, l'avocat proche de Piotr Pavlenski ?". 7 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Juan Branco, un tiers maudit, deux tiers mondain". 10 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Des grandes écoles aux "gilets jaunes" en passant par WikiLeaks : Qui est Juan Branco, l'avocat proche de Piotr Pavlenski ?" (in French). 7 May 2019. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  8. ^ "Juan Branco, l'avocat qui intrigue" (in French). Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  9. ^ "Juan Branco, itinéraire d'un enfant gâté devenu activiste sans scrupule" (in French). Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  10. ^ "Des grandes écoles aux "gilets jaunes" en passant par WikiLeaks : qui est Juan Branco, l'avocat proche de Piotr Pavlenski ?". Franceinfo (in French). 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  11. ^ "Juan Branco : « Nous serons probablement demain l'un et l'autre des ennemis principiels "" (in French). 17 January 2019. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  12. ^ "Crépuscule: Juan Branco découvre la lune".
  13. ^ ""Peuplecratie" d'Ilvo Diamanti et Marc Lazar / "Crépuscule" de Juan Branco".
  14. ^ ""Crépuscule» de Juan Branco, ce qu'il faut garder et ce qu'il faut jete"". 26 April 2019.
  15. ^ ""Crépuscule" de Juan Branco : Fausse enquête-révélations sur Macron et vrai gâchis". 6 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Critique des médias, attaques sur Macron... On a lu "Crépuscule", le livre "censuré" de Juan Branco". 25 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Qui a peur du «révolutionnaire» Juan Branco?". Le Temps. 17 April 2019.
  18. ^ 2015 NSA Espionnage revelations
  19. ^ "Affaire Griveaux : Ce qu'il faut savoir sur Juan Branco".
  20. ^ "Affaire Griveaux : Ce qu'il faut savoir sur Juan Branco".
  21. ^ "Les réponses de l'Express à Juan Branco". 29 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Paris appeals court rules in favour of Paulo Branco on 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'". Screen. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Vidéos intimes de Griveaux : le rôle trouble de Juan Branco". (in French). 14 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  25. ^ "France shrugs at sex scandals. But after a leaked video, this politician bowed out". Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  26. ^ "Piotr Pavlenski : Dans les coulisses de sa soirée du 31 décembre 2019 à Paris". 29 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Le bâtonnier de Paris a demandé à Branco de ne pas défendre Pavlenski". (in French). 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  28. ^ "Branco redevient avocat de Pavlenski et demande une expertise psychiatrique de Griveaux". (in French). 2020-03-05. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  29. ^ "Griveaux : La justice refuse l'expertise psychiatrique demandée par Branco". (in French). 2020-03-12. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  30. ^ "L'Ordre des avocats lance des poursuites disciplinaires contre Juan Branco". (in French). 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  31. ^ "Les réponses de l'Express à Juan Branco". 29 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Quand Juan Branco écrivait à Salah Abdeslam". 22 February 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2020..
  33. ^ "Juan Branco a écrit une lettre à Salah Abdeslam en 2016 pour le conseiller". 22 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2020..
  34. ^ ""C'est un exercice illégal" : quand il sollicite le terroriste Abdeslam, Juan Branco... n'est pas encore avocat". 25 February 2020..
  35. ^ "Les réponses de l'Express à Juan Branco". 29 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Affaire Griveaux : Qui est Juan Branco, l'avocat qui dit "avoir accompagné" Piotr Pavlenski ?". 25 September 2019.
  37. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  39. ^ "L'avocat Juan Branco visé par une enquête pour viol". Le 30 April 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  40. ^ Décugis, Jean-Michel (June 2021). "Visé par une enquête pour viol, l'avocat Juan Branco placé en garde à vue". Le Parisien. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  41. ^ "Accusations de viol : Fin d'une garde à vue « abusive » pour Juan Branc"". June 2021.
  42. ^ "Sur Wikipédia, les vies rêvées de Juan Branco".
  43. ^ "Juan Branco, l'avocat qui intrigue".
  44. ^ Library of the Congress
  45. ^ BNF reference
  46. ^ Editorial description of L'ordre et le monde
  47. ^ "Editorial description". 2020-02-25.

External links