Benjamin Mendy’s contract with Manchester City expired last month (Oli SCARFF)
The coach of French club Lorient on Friday dismissed questions about new recruit Benjamin Mendy’s recent acquittal in England of sex offences.
The 29-year-old France defender joined the Ligue 1 side on Wednesday, the week after he was cleared in the latest trial in a three-year legal process.
“We’re not going to repeat his trial in the public arena,” Regis Le Bris told a press conference. “He should not be retried. It’s been settled.”
He described his first impressions of Mendy as “cheerful, enthusiastic”.
“That was one of the things we wanted to find out more about,” said Le Bris, who led Lorient to 10th place in Ligue 1 last season.
“Sometimes we project a lot of things onto people in the media, but then, when we get to know them in the intimacy of a dressing room, we discover a completely different person.”
Mendy was cleared at the first trial in January of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, relating to four young women or teenagers.
Last week, in a second trial, he was cleared of raping a woman and attempting to rape another.
Mendy, whose contract with English and European champions Manchester City expired at the end of June, denied all the charges against him.
Le Bris said he had a two-hour videoconference with Mendy before signing him and praised his “humility, passion for soccer and desire to be part of a collective project”.
Le Bris said Mendy, who has not played since August 15, 2021 needed “some reconditioning work… even though he’s looked after himself over these two years”.