A fortune teller is said to have manipulated the mayor of a French coastal town for four years. Now both are in custody.

A scandal is breaking the idyll of the French coastal town of Agde, usually known for its picturesque sandy beaches and year-round sunshine. As the BBC reports, local fortune teller Sophia M. is said to have manipulated Mayor Gilles d’Ettore with supposed psychic abilities, while in return he was accused of misusing public funds.

Sophia M. is said to have claimed to be able to talk to the deceased. Gilles d’Ettore, a former intelligence officer and police officer, sought her help to contact his late father. During séances, Sophia M. is said to have manipulated the mayor for four years with her ventriloquism skills. The involvement led to a judicial investigation and both parties are in custody, according to the BBC.

D’Ettore is accused of misusing public funds to pay for the fortune teller’s luxury holidays, renovations to her home and employment for her family members. The mayor’s lawyer told the BBC: “It’s unbelievable because we have a man in politics […] who is very intelligent. And you discover that a man like that can be manipulated by a woman.”

Sophia M.’s lawyer presents the case differently: “Other clients, including doctors and architects, said [Sophia] had mystical powers,” he told the BBC. “She told them details about their lives that no one else did knew.”

Meanwhile, both the mayor and the fortune teller remain in custody to prevent possible influence on witnesses. Sophia M. was placed in solitary confinement after an attack by fellow inmates who accused her of witchcraft.

However, this story is not the only one that sets Agde apart from other French coastal towns. As “Travel Tomorrow” reports, the town is considered the world capital of nudists thanks to a naturist tourist center at Cap d’Agde. Life in the resort is completely clothing-free. However, public sexual activities often lead to tensions among the population.

Signs warning of penalties for outdoor sex acts are ubiquitous at the resort, but these measures appear to be having little effect. According to Travel Tomorrow, nearly 1.5 million tourists visit Agde every year, attracted by the curiosity and promising reputation of the swingers scene. Because of its fame for open-air sex parties, one of the resort’s beaches is now known simply as the Bay of Pigs.

The naturist faction, on the other hand, sees its values ​​at risk from the increase in libertine behavior. The escalation came to a head back in 2009, when several swingers clubs caught fire, an incident attributed to so-called “naturist terrorism.”

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