On Monday, June 12, the Le Havre criminal court sentenced Jérôme Le Banner, 51, to a five-month suspended prison sentence, and a fine of 5,000 euro. The French K-1 legend has been found guilty of bribing two police officers in order to remove a file of a car accident involving his ex-wife, who was caught drunk driving.
The car crash in question happened on the night of December 31, 2017, between La Havre and Étretat. Le Banner's ex-wife, Mélissa Gallant was driving the car, which was loaned by friends. "Blood samples show driving under the influence of alcohol and traces of narcotics, which Mrs. Gallant refutes by explaining that they come from a Canadian drink… Moreover, being Canadian, she is not allowed to drive in France and does not have permission to reside in France", the court stated.
The couple was injured in the accident, and the house they crashed into was damaged.
Faced with the risk of seeing his former spouse being prosecuted and potentially deported, the kickboxer took it on himself and contacted a close friend of the family, who, conveniently enough, was a police officer in Le Havre. The policewomen contacted a colleague of her, who was in charge of the case files. The colleague now put Le Banner in contact with the property owner, to settle things out of court.
All would have been fine, if Le Banner didn't file a complain in an entirely different matter months later. The police had to confiscate the kickboxers mobile phone, and found suspicious messages between him and the two police officers involved. The policewomen, who's close with the fighter, wrote, "The file will get lost in the bottom of a drawer," while the officer in charge of the files thanked him for "the bottle of wine".
As a result, both of the police officers have been charged with five months of prison as well. They have 10 days to appeal the courts decision.
Le Banner fought as recent as 2019, when he knocked out Viacheslav Datsik at World Cup TNA Fights in Kazan, Russia.