The French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg often behaved with dubious intent, fondling and insulting the women in his path, and alluding to incest and pedophilia in his lyrics.

But he was always forgiven by the Parisian intelligentsia which venerated him as a creative spirit, a sort of post-war version of the 19th-century poet Baudelaire, whose genius exceeded convention and everyday morality.

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