NICE, France—Pippa Middleton’s multimillionaire father-in-law has been charged with the rape of a child between 1998 and 1999 after being arrested in Paris on Tuesday while en route here to the south of France.
David Matthews, 74—the father of James, 42, who married Pippa last year, and Made in Chelsea reality TV star Spencer Matthews—was arrested Tuesday at Orly Airport in Paris and released on bail after 48 hours, subject to unknown conditions. French investigators have six months to study his case and see if it merits being brought to trial.
The official charge was “rape of a minor by a person having authority over her.” Matthews denies all allegations.
His daughter-in-law Pippa Middleton, 34, is the sister of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is married to Prince William. Pippa married hedge fund manager James Matthews in May 2017 in one of England’s biggest society weddings in recent years. Her engagement ring was reportedly valued at $280,000.
Europe 1 reported that a “niece” of Matthews’ made a formal police complaint last year, alleging that she was not quite of legal age when the alleged incidents took place in both Paris and St. Bart’s, where Matthews has lived since 1995.
Agence France Presse reported that the alleged victim reported the incident in 2017. The case has been under investigation since Sept. 2017 and is being handled by France’s Juvenile Protection Brigade.
Matthews is a self-made man who began as a garage mechanic, moved into race car driving and became an ultra-successful hotelier after injuries ended his driving career.
Matthews owns the extremely exclusive Eden Rock hotel on St. Barts where celebrities like Elton John, Beyoncé, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt have stayed and the most expensive suite costs $35,000 per night.
Matthews’ first wife was a fellow race car driver, Anita Taylor. He later married Rhodesian artist Jane Parker with whom he had three sons: James, Spencer, and Michael. Michael died during an expedition up Mt. Everest when he was only 22. His body has never been found.