What place should be given to the mother of a man who is guilty of the worst? A difficult answer to give, but Martine Henry, mother of Jonathan Daval, decided to take up the pen to talk about what she felt and how she experienced this tragedy. A year after Alexia’s parents’ book, she unveils her book, written in collaboration with Plana Radenovic, as she was simply called Me, mother of Jonathan (Michalon editions). If she does not deny the facts, she will present a different face to her son. By doing this, she also paints a different portrait of Alexia and her family, even if it means she doesn’t agree with her vision of things.
On 2 November 2017, a press conference was organized at the town hall in Grey. Martine Henry recounts how this event unfolded and emphasizes something that Alexia’s mother and sister did that left a deep impression on her: “Just before we entered the arena, with Florent, we were with them, with the Fouillots. I was extremely shocked to hear Isabelle Fouillot tell Stéphanie Gay, Alexia’s sister, that they had to blow dry because they couldn’t just go like that. At a time like this, thinking about his looks… It’s beyond me. Complete. That’s not my way of seeing things.“
His desire to nuance the story
In the book, Martine Henry looks back on the birth of her son, his meeting and his relationship with Alexia, whom he had married in 2015 but with whom he had been dating since 2004. She focuses on reporting the discovery of the crime and the investigation, the trial and the prison – the culprit is in custody in Dijon -, the media impact of the case and the support it has received. Her goal, to present the case from a different point of view than that of the victim’s relatives, to nuance the story and show that, according to her, there is nothing black or white in this terrible drama. She is also required to show all the support she offers her son beyond actions but also rumours. A controversial position, but one that she takes.
Me, mother of Jonathan by Martine Henry published by Michaelon