Francois Fillon’s British wife, Francois Fillon, tells a judge that she feels ‘despised’ and humiliated after her husband was found guilty of fraud. The couple appeal their convictions

  • Penelope Fillon (66), a Welsh-born woman, was found guilty last year of corruption
  • Francois Fillon, her ex-French PM, was also found guilty
  • Mr Fillon was given a five-year sentence, with three years suspended while Mrs Filon received a three-year suspended sentence for her role in the scandal
  • To appeal the sentence, they appeared today in Parisian courts 
  • Fillon stated that she was ‘despised and humiliated’ after the conviction.

One British woman, once considered to be a strong candidate for France’s first lady position, told a court today that she was ‘despised’ and ‘humiliated’ by being convicted of fraud.

Penelope Fillon from Wales was 66 years old when she and Francois Fillon were found guilty last year in the so called ‘Penelopegate’ corruption scandal.

Judges sitting at the Paris Correctional Court ruled in June 2020 that the couple had created fake jobs that paid Mrs Fillon the equivalent of close to £1million in public funds.

Fillon received a five year sentence with three years suspended. Fillon’s wife, 66, was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence.

They appealed today against Paris’s convictions, and Fillon told judges that she didn’t recognize herself in the judgment.

“I felt humiliated and despised. I felt paralysed. Everything I was able to do in the past is now impossible.

Former France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) and his wife Penelope (C) arrive at the Paris' courthouse on November 15, 2021, for their trial on appeal in the case of suspected fictitious employment

Francois Fillon, former Prime Minister of France (L), and Penelope Fillon (C) arrived at Paris’ Courthouse on November 15th 2021 for the appeal hearing in their case regarding suspected fictitious Employment.

In this file photo taken on February 27, 2020 Former France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) and his wife Penelope arrive at the Paris' courthouse for the hearing of their trial over claims they embezzled over one million euros in an alleged fake-jobs fraud

File photo of Francois Fillon (French Prime Minister) and Penelope Fillon (W), arrive in Paris for their trial. They are accused of embezzling more than one million euro in an alleged fraudulent fake-jobs scheme.

This scandal ended all hopes that Mr Fillon, a conservative politician, would become President of France and have Mrs Fillon as his first wife.

Instead, following a protracted court case judges found that Mrs Fillon had pretended to be his parliamentary assistant for 15 years – despite never having visited the National Assembly in Paris.

It was discovered that her deceit included claiming she was a “literary advisor” to a magazine owned and run by Mr Fillon, who paid her thousands despite the fact she had never been to Paris.

Francois Fillon arrives at the Paris' courthouse on November 15, 2021, for his and his wife Penelope Fillon's trial on appeal in the case of suspected fictitious employment. This second trial is being held almost a year and a half after he was convicted of embezzlement of public funds.

Francois Fillon, his wife Penelope Fillon, and he arrive at Paris’ courthouse to face their appeal in the case involving suspected fictitious occupation. The second trial will be held nearly a year after Fillon was convicted for embezzlement.

Emmanuel Macron was the independent candidate and became the new head of country, replacing Mr Fillon. His wife Brigitte Macron was by his side.

In fact, the prosecution claimed that Fillon spent the majority of her time on the couple’s rural estate near Le Mans. This was where she raised five children.

Marc Joulaud (the MP that did the constituency work for Mr Fillon during five years of Prime Minister, from 2005 to 2012) was handed a two-year suspended sentence.

Jouland (55), was believed to have extended Mrs Fillon’s false contracts and paid her more money for doing nothing.

The original charges against all three of the defendants included embezzlement, fraud and criminal complicity.

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon (R) and his wife Penelope are pictured arriving to participate in the working dinner at Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, 13 June 2008.

Francois Fillon, former French Prime Minister, and Penelope Fillon, his wife, are seen arriving in Paris to attend the Elysee Palace working dinner, Paris France 13 June 2008.

Fillon was born in Llanover, Wales to a lawyer’s daughter and attended King Henry VIII School at Abergavenny.

She studied modern languages in London and law at Bristol University. After marrying Mr Fillon who she met as a teacher assistant in Le Mans, her hometown, she was able to continue her studies.

Fillon began their appeal on Monday afternoon. It will be ongoing throughout the week.

A judge can overturn the verdicts or confirm them. This could lead to increased punishments.