Pavlensky’s partner, who was not named by investigators, was being detained for questioning on suspicion of violating privacy and publishing sexual images without consent, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on February 16.
Pavlensky was arrested on February 15 and questioned by the police about a separate case involving “violence with a weapon” on New Year’s Eve, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. French media reported that Pavlensky allegedly drew a knife during a dispute at a Paris apartment and that two guests were wounded.
Pavlensky may also be questioned over the sex tape, AFP reported.
The candidate, Benjamin Griveaux of French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist La Republique En Marche party, resigned as a junior minister last year to take part in the mayoral race in March. Polls put him in third place behind outgoing Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo and conservative challenger Rachida Dati.
Macron’s party is now scrambling for a replacement candidate for the contest.
The prosecutor’s office said Griveaux filed a complaint on February 16 for invasion of his private life and an investigation was opened.
“No one should be subjected to such abuse,” Griveaux had said.
Pavlensky fled Russia in 2017 and was granted political asylum in France.
The artist is known for attention-grabbing protests. In the past, he has nailed his scrotum to Moscow’s Red Square, sewn his lips together, wrapped himself naked in barbed wire, and chopped off part of his ear.