The father-in-law of Pippa Middleton has retained his passport allowing him to return home after being investigated over the rape of a child.
David Matthews, father of James Matthews who wed Pippa last year, had spent at least two days in police custody.
He is accused of repeatedly attacking a girl in the late 1990s.
The 74-year-old is expected to return to the Caribbean island of St Barts, a French overseas territory, where he owns the exclusive Eden Rock hotel resort.
Mr Matthews strenuously denies the accusation against him which his legal team have branded ‘untrue and scandalous’.
David Matthews (right), pictured with James Matthews and Pippa Middleton after their wedding in Surrey last year
He is accused of raping the child on St Barts in 1998 and again the following year in Paris.
If found guilty, he faces up to 15-years in prison for the crime of ‘rape of a minor by a person of authority’.
The multi-millionaire former racing driver was arrested by judicial police linked to the Juvenile Protection Brigade (BPM) after landing at Paris’ Orly Airport on Tuesday.
The BPM investigates allegations of paedophilia and child prostitution.
Mr Matthews was later placed under formal investigation by a magistrate, which is similar to being charged with a crime in the UK.
It points to ‘serious or consistent’ evidence of involvement and is a move towards trial but investigations can be dropped without ever going to court.
Mr Matthews also remains under judicial control so has certain bail conditions imposed upon him but they do not include being forced to stay in Paris.
He may be required, however, to return to the city at a later date.
The self-made businessman bought and renovated Eden Rock on St Barts in 1995 and the five star hotel, where rooms can fetch £5000-a-night, has become a favourite of celebrities including Tom Hanks, Leonardo Di Caprio and Sir Elton John.
He lives there with his second wife Jane.
His son James, 41, married 34-year-old Pippa last summer in a ceremony attended by her sister Kate and Prince William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Juvenile Protection Brigade (BPM) building IN Paris where David Matthews was questioned by Police
The Royal couple’s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were page boy and flower girl.
Mr Matthews’ youngest son Spencer is a reality TV star who found fame on Made In Chelsea.
His middle son, Michael, died while climbing Mount Everest aged 22 in 1999.
He is being represented by Farrer & Co, the London law firm which has represented members of the Royal Family for 300-years.
A spokesman said: ‘David Matthews categorically denies the allegation and unequivocally contests the untrue and scandalous accusation.’
The multimillionaire is being investigated by French authorities and is currently ‘mis en examen’.
There is no precise equivalent in the British legal system but it is most similar to a charge, with authorities now having six months to decide whether he will be brought to trial.
Citing legal sources, French national news agency AFP said Matthews was now under investigation for the ‘rape of a minor by a person with authority over his victim’.
Matthews has now been released on bail, subject to undisclosed conditions. It is not known whether he has retained his passport, or whether he can travel home.
He was first arrested on arrival at Paris Orly airport last Tuesday, and placed in custody at the Brigade for the Protection of Minors. He denies any wrongdoing.
Matthews, who lives permanently on St Barts with his wife Jane, 70, originally spent a full 48 hours in custody in Paris – the maximum allowed under French criminal law before charges have been filed.
The rape case is being dealt with by the BPM of the Paris judicial police, who arrested Matthews on Tuesday. Pictured: The BPM’s building in the French capital
He is accused of two historic sex attacks, one in Paris, and one on St Barts, according to a judicial source.
Matthews is the father of James Matthews, 41, who is married to Pippa, the 34-year-old sister of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is married to Prince William.
James’s brother Spencer Matthews made his name on British reality TV show Made in Chelsea.
The rape case is being dealt with by the Juvenile Protection Brigade (BPM) of the Paris judicial police, who arrested Matthews on Tuesday. An official said on Friday that David Matthews was questioned three days earlier by special police handling cases involving minors.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a judicial investigation, overlooked by an examining magistrate, a source said.
The allegation will now be subject to a judicial investigation and authorities in Paris now have six months to decide if Matthews will be brought to trial. He is currently ‘mis en examen’.
David Matthews attends the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mary’s Church in Berkshire, England, last year
David Matthews, 74, is alleged to have carried out the attacks between 1998 and 1999. Pictured right: Spencer Matthews
Matthews is a self-made multi-millionaire who grew up near Rotherham and started his professional career as garage mechanic.
After leaving school, he started work as an apprentice mechanic at his father Wallace’s garage.
Aged 19, he started selling cars door-to-door and, in his spare time, indulged his love of motor racing at the local track. A skilled driver , he became division champion in the British Touring Car Championships in 1971.
But his dream ended in August 1973 in a catastrophic accident during a race at Silverstone. His car flipped at 130mph, killing one driver, critically injuring another and temporarily stopping Matthews’ heart.
A bystander said: ‘It was horrific. His car was airborne. How Matthews escaped is beyond me.’
After several successful years in business, Matthews retired after the recession and ventured into hotels, snapping up the Eden Rock (pictured) in St Barts in 1995
Matthews is a self-made multi-millionaire who grew up near Rotherham and started his professional career as garage mechanic
He married Anita Taylor, a fellow driver. The couple had a daughter called Nina together but divorced in 1969. Matthews was forced to retire in 1973 due to major injuries.
Matthews then focused on transforming a used-car enterprise into a large dealership, Kirkby Central Group.
Two years later, just before Spencer’s birth, Kirkby Central was the subject of a £8.5 million takeover by Plaxton’s, a firm which made buses and coaches.
He then met his second wife, Rhodesian-born artist Jane Parker. Moving out of a bungalow in Rotherham, they lived on a 30-acre, 18th-century estate in rural Lincolnshire, before moving to Paris, then Monaco.
He and Jane Parker had three sons, James, Spencer, and Michael, who tragically died when he was just 22 on an expedition up Mount Everest.
After several successful years in business, Matthews retired after the recession and ventured into hotels, snapping up the Eden Rock in St Barts in 1995, which he moved into and revamped.
David Matthews, 73, pictured with his wife Jane, was arrested in Paris on Tuesday
The Eden Rock hotel was wrecked and strewn with rubble after a devastating encounter with Hurricane Irma last year
Fancying a new challenge, at the age of 52, David moved in with his wife and eight-year-old Spencer, while the other children were already pursuing careers in Europe, and devoted his energy and money to restoring it to its former splendour.
The hotel – a hotspot for celebrities including Tom Hanks, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez – also became a holiday destination for Pippa and James.
Matthews described the hotel, whose priciest suites cost £25,000 and which was visited in the 50s and 60s by guests including the Rothschild and Rockefeller families, as not just a hotel ‘but a way of life’.
But it was wrecked and strewn with rubble after a devastating encounter with Hurricane Irma last year.
Matthews also owns the 10,000-acre Glen Affric Estate in the Scottish Highlands, which opened in 2012 as a luxury hunting lodge, offering guests deer stalking, whisky tasting and helicopter rides. Transfer of the title deeds made Dave a Scottish laird.
Despite their rags to riches story, the family’s life has been marred by tragedy. Their son Michael was just 22 when he tragically died after reaching base camp of Mount Everest.
Mike died following bad weather in Nepal when he was on his way back down the mountain, in 1999.
Who is David Matthews? The coal miner’s son with a £40million fortune: Pippa father-in-law is a Scottish Laird who quit motor racing after a fatal crash
By Eleanor Hayward and Neil Sears for the Daily Mail
Born the son of a coal miner in Rotherham, David Matthews managed to amass a reputed £40million.
He also gained the title Laird of Glen Affric, while his children have millions of pounds of their own.
His father started him on the road to better things by leaving mining and setting up a garage near the Yorkshire town. Matthews started working as an apprentice mechanic.He soon found however that he was better at selling cars, through gruelling door-to-door rounds.
He did try his hand at motor racing, and was seen as promising until he was in a serious crash at Silverstone. It left another driver dead, and Matthews with an eye injury that ended his racing career.
Instead, he concentrated on building his own second-hand car empire, with motor dealerships and interests in luxury coach-making.
Born the son of a coal miner in Rotherham, David Matthews managed to amass a reputed £40million
His first marriage was to Anita Taylor, herself a racing driver. They had a daughter, Nina, but later divorced. By the Nineties, Matthews had made enough to start serious property development.
He married for a second time to Bohemian artist Jane Parker, now 70, daughter of an architect in what was then called Rhodesia. She had been carnival queen at Rhodes University in the African country, now Zimbabwe, and after graduating with a fine art degree won a scholarship to study in the Netherlands. After stopping off in London on her way there, she never left.
She was working as a receptionist at Christian Dior when Matthews saw a picture of her, and was so taken that he tracked her down and married her.
That marriage, in contrast to Pippa’s glittery welcome to the family last year, was a simple affair in Rotherham register office. Matthews had one glass of champagne and went back to work. After living in a Rotherham bungalow, the couple moved to Paris, then to tax-haven Monaco.
On holiday in 1995 they loved the faded glamour of the Eden Rock hotel on the Caribbean isle of St Barts so much that they bought it. They moved to the French-speaking island and set about restoring the hotel, which now charges many thousands a night to celebrity guests including Brad Pitt, Elton John and Beyonce.
He also owns a 10,000-acre Scottish estate, Glen Affric, which boasts a trout-stuffed loch and a Victorian hunting lodge
Matthews said creating the hotel made him feel ‘truly alive in a way that I didn’t back home’. He added: ‘Perhaps life there was too comfortable, too provincial.’
He is nicknamed The Band by his children, in reference to The Dave Matthews Band, and also owns a 10,000-acre Scottish estate, Glen Affric, which boasts a trout-stuffed loch and a Victorian hunting lodge. He and Miss Parker had three sons. James and Michael were born within 18 months of each other – but there was a 13-year gap before the youngest, Spencer, came along. James, now 42, went to Uppingham public school but not to university.
He raced, like his father, winning the 1994 British Renault championship, then started making money in the City, first as a derivatives trader where his desk adjoined his brother Michael’s. Michael became the youngest Briton to conquer Mount Everest at 22 in 1999 – but never returned from the summit. He is presumed to have died there.
Two years after his brother’s death James set up Eden Rock Capital Management, which generated enough profit for him to buy a Chelsea house for £17million to share with Pippa Middleton.
Spencer, 28, went into nightclub promotion before finding he was a natural on the reality TV show Made in Chelsea. He has become notorious for his hard partying, and has boasted of six-in-a-bed sex, alongside talk of cocaine use.