STORY. Johnny’s estate: how the Boudou clan inherited the Hallyday business

A very active family-in-law, a clan, a band … Since February 12, when the battle around the legacy of Johnny Hallydayburst into the open, a name keeps coming back: the Boudou, the surname of young girl Laeticia, widow of the singer, now 43 years old. Laura Smet and David Hallyday, the first two children of the artist, contest the will of their father, who disinherits them for the sole benefit of Laeticia. The two parties have a first meeting with the justice, Thursday, March 15, before the tribunal de grande instance of Nanterre to decide the fate of the posthumous album of Johnny, on which David and Laura have not for the moment the less right to look. The first two children of Johnny also claim the freeze of the heritage of the singer died on December 5, pending resolution of the dispute over his legacy.

>> DIRECT. Inheritance of Johnny Hallyday: follow the first judicial round in the court of Nanterre

“Johnny was looted, I did the housework”

This battle, judicial and media, cast a light on the Boudou family, omnipresent in the “business Johnny”. The father of Laeticia, his grandmother or his brother occupy, to varying degrees, key positions in the financial and artistic empire of the rocker. In 1995, Laeticia just turned 20 when she accompanied her father, André Boudou, to a dinner hosted by DJ Jean-Roch in Miami. Johnny Hallyday is present. Love at first sight is immediate. Johnny and Laeticia get married the following year, they will not leave each other.

Laeticia and Johnny Hallyday on the day of their wedding, in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine), March 25, 1996.
Laeticia and Johnny Hallyday on the day of their wedding, in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine), March 25, 1996. (MICHEL GANGNE / AFP)

“Very quickly, the father-in-law feels that Johnny’s business is poorly managed,” tells franceinfo Eric Le Bourhis, author of Johnny: Story of an Idol(Prisma ed.). An observation that is not false for the biographer of the singer. “He was never a manager, it’s common knowledge, he did not want to hear about money.”

Johnny was a victim, sometimes consenting, of his entourage. He let himself be swindled and he was basically generous. And he had many problems with the fisc because his management was quite catastrophic … Eric Le Bourhisat franceinfo

It is too much for André Boudou, who becomes the new man of confidence of the singer. “Johnny got himself in the big ways. (…) I decided to put his house in order because it’s my daughter’s husband and incidentally an adorable guy I could not stand He can sing, but not count, “ explains the father-in-law, who was 54 years old, at Le Monde (a paid article) in 2004. ” He was looted, I did the housework “ , he still assumes with Liberation in 2005.

A father-in-law with a sulphurous reputation

André Boudou has everything to get into the eye of the rocker: “It’s a self-made man, it comes from the South.This legitimacy of businessman impresses Johnny,” says Eric Le Bourhis. His father-in-law made a fortune in Cap d’Agde, the Mecca of naturism and swinger tourism, in the 1980s. This fisherman’s son of the Hérault creates and manages boxes and bars in this seaside resort. never stops concreting. In 1988, he bought Amnesia in Cap d’Agde.

The club will make its success. It remains, still today, appreciated by the amateurs of dancefloor of the South. David Guetta, Martin Solveig or Bob Sinclar are behind the turntables. André Boudou opened another nightclub Amnesia in Miami in 1992. He denied, however, have had shares in Amnesia Bonifacio, Corsica, which opened in 1995. “The nightclub was liquidated by the commercial court in early 2000, before being, literally, 500 kg of explosives in April of the same year, “ reports Libé . Boudou simply recognizes “ties of friendship” with the powerful Corsican family who managed the establishment. Johnny was also the “godfather”from the Amnesia of Bonifacio. It is an understatement to say that André Boudou has a sulphurous reputation.

His enemies say of him that he is a trendy hooligan. Others, a self-made-man rather fortic … Eric Le Bourhisin “Johnny: story of an idol”

Pendant que la grand-mère Elyette et l’arrière-grand-mère Odette (décédée en 2004) s’installent dans la résidence du couple Hallyday à Marnes-la-Coquette (Hauts-de-Seine) car Laeticia est “très famille”, André va donc s’atteler au “ménage” dans la vie de Johnny. “La ‘purge’ commence. Elle va au-delà des pique-assiettes et ‘amuseurs’ qui emplissaient la vie du chanteur”, estime Libé en 2005. L’homme à tout faire de Johnny est remercié, même chose pour son comptable, son avocat…

As early as 2004, Desta Halliday, cousin of the singer who raised it in part, noisily puts feet in the dish. “One by one, all your closest collaborators or friends have been dismissed,” she wrote in an open letter to the singer, scraping the names of the cook, the photographer, the press officer, the physical trainer … In her cry of the heart, Desta denounces the “Boudou clan” and Laeticia in particular: “She practices around her a kind of scorched earth policy.” Johnny sided with his wife and removed the “small rent” he paid to Desta, reports Eric Le Bourhis in his book.

Jean Reno and André Boudou, at the funeral of Johnny Hallyday, December 9, 2018, in front of the church of La Madeleine, in Paris.
Jean Reno and André Boudou, at the funeral of Johnny Hallyday, December 9, 2018, in front of the church of La Madeleine, in Paris. (YOAN VALAT / AFP)

Beyond the void that is made around the singer, “the Boudou have an idea in mind , says Eric Le Bourhis,  the mark Hallyday is under-exploited, it must be fruited.  It is in this perspective that André Boudou boasts of having signed his son-in-law a contract with Optic 2000 in 2002, which reports between years between 300,000 and one million euros, said Le Figaro . But the father-in-law’s obsession is about Johnny’s contract with Universal. Boudou is convinced that the record company makes its butter on the back of the rocker.

“Fallen under the influence of the Boudou clan”

Result: Johnny claims 60 million euros and restitution rights on all his titles, a war chest. “Either it works, and it is Boudou who will cash the profits, either it is a failure, and Johnny, who is surety, will pay the pots” , summarized in 2004 Daniel Vaconsin, the former lawyer of Johnny, in the columns of the World . At the time, the council regretted that his former client had ” fallen under the influence of the Boudou clan”.At the end of an epic legal battle, Johnny wins nothing, except his freedom to sign in another production company. Universal, meanwhile, keeps its precious catalog: over 1,000 titles of Johnny who remain in his wallet. In the end, this labor court trial revealed above all the lifestyle of the artist, that of a “gambler living on credit from his record company” , according to  Libé .

Another risky advice made to Johnny, that of investing to open a nightclub Amnesia in Paris in 2003. From the outset, the financial arrangement of the nightclub raises questions, tells the time Le Parisien . Located at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, Amnesia suffers from a bling-bling image and a cruel lack of customers. The box closes its doors in 2004.  After these failures, the relations between the singer and his father-in-law are tense. To make matters worse, André Boudou – who plays a “questionable role” in the tax domicile of the singer, according to his biographer – is sentenced to six months in prison in 2007 for “tax evasion, abuse of corporate property and falsified bookkeeping”, for the management of his discotheque Cap d’Agde. Since then, André Boudou has found the shadow. Soon, his daughter, Laeticia, takes over at the head of the “business Hallyday”.

Of the omnipresence of Laeticia

The young woman, at first discreet, has asserted herself to become unavoidable in the life of Johnny. Influential in the shadow of her husband, she does not hesitate to stage herself. Laeticia makes appearances in the ads for Optic 2000, until becoming its main character. As in 2007, where, as a super-heroine, Laeticia continues the stunts for 30 seconds. Johnny makes a short appearance at the end of this clip. “The star has become her,” says Eric Le Bourhis.

Laeticia hired American high-flying communicators, to be more glamorous and to make the Hallyday brand shine. Eric Le Bourhisat franceinfo

“This is also what will precipitate the end of the contract with Optic 2000. Its communicators demanded that the next spot be shot by Terry Richardson, photographer and director very trendy.But that did not correspond to the brand, which has refused, “ says the biographer. The contract is broken in 2012.

Laeticia is also essential in the artistic field. She blows the names of young musicians (Yarol Poupaud, Maxime Nucci …) to Johnny for his next records. The singer changes producer, revamps his image. The wife of the rocker “provides undeniable family and emotional serenity but it is also his main adviser,” says the biographer of Johnny. A “interventionism” and “omnipresence” not without “cause trouble in the singer’s entourage” . In 2009, David and Laura intermingle with Laeticia that they accuse of over-mediate the hospitalization of their father, plunged into a coma in Los Angeles, after the operation of a herniated disc that went wrong.

Johnny and Laeticia Hallyday, Beverly Hills, California, USA, February 17, 2015.
Johnny and Laeticia Hallyday, Beverly Hills, California, USA, February 17, 2015. (MAXPPP)

A rock’n’roll grandmother to business

In Los Angeles, where the singer lives his last years with Laeticia, Jade and Joy, their two adopted daughters,  another Boudou has become thegrandmother of Laeticia, Elyette, 82 years old today. Nicknamed “Granny Rock”, she moved with the Hallyday family in 2010, in the United States, after the death of her husband. She sometimes plays the role of “super nanny” for Jade and Joy. “This is an important figure in the Boudou family mythology ,” says Eric Le Bourhis , who initially ran a pizzeria on the Marseillan beach near Cap d’Agde, where Andre made it flourish. business to the United States. ”  Since 2012, “Granny Rock” is at the head of Johnny’s rights management and image management companies . A real gold mine.

A curious choice while Elyette Boudou has no knowledge in music publishing. At the time, the lawyer of the couple Hallyday is forced to justify himself in Le Figaro  : “Laeticia Hallyday is very busy with its foundation La Belle étoile and its other activities, and Johnny Hallyday is just as much with the preparation of its albums and his concerts. ” “It is a pillar for me , explains Laeticia in 2013 in  Paris Match . It supports me when to fight and make the right decisions.”

Jean-Claude Camus, former producer of Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Thibaud, mother of Laeticia, Elyette Boudou, grandmother of Laeticia, and Line Renaud, on the forecourt of La Madeleine, in Paris.
Jean-Claude Camus, former producer of Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Thibaud, mother of Laeticia, Elyette Boudou, grandmother of Laeticia, and Line Renaud, on the forecourt of La Madeleine, in Paris. (MAXPPP)

Since the death of Johnny and the opening of the war of succession between the first children of Johnny and the Boudou clan, some observers believe that the role of “Granny Rock” is cloudy:  “Everything suggests that [she] plays the nominees in an opaque financial arrangement, whose ramifications will undoubtedly be brought to light soon in the legal battle that is played on the inheritance, “ writes Le Point .

Since the battle for inheritance is open, each side clashes with murderous declarations. Laeticia “loved him [Johnny] , she has two little girls and she’s the one who will win, she’s the one who’s right, I do not think about Laura or David, because they’ve had their already, then it’s not normal, “ slice Elyette Boudou, February 16 on M6. Ten days later, Sylvie Vartan, ex-wife of Johnny and mother of David, responds on Europe 1 .

The grandmother looks very nice, I do not know what her artistic past is. But it’s as if I were going to run Galeries Lafayette! Sylvie Vartanon Europe 1

Discreet in the media, “Granny Rock” is very active on Instagram. We can see her enjoying the Saint Bartholomew’s sun between Laeticia and Johnny, having fun with Jade and Joy, laughing while sipping a cocktail or eating the  stew of Jean Imbert, former winner of “Top Chef” and friend of Hallyday. On March 4, Elyette Boudou posted a picture to say the least enigmatic where we could see with Johnny and his daughter, Françoise Thibaud, the mother of Laeticia. Everyone is speaking. The image was quickly removed from his account which is now “privately”, only visible to its subscribers.

A first battle in the succession war

Thanks to the disclosure of Johnny’s will, France discovered another member of the Boudou family: Grégory, the brother of Laeticia, very discreet until then. Aged 42, he is the owner of Amnesia Cap d’Agde, managed by his father. In case of death or incapacity of Laeticia, he would become the executor of one of the greatest legacies of the French song (and Elyette after him) .

What to get Nathalie Baye, the mother of Laura Smet, out of his silence. On March 5, the actress transmits a text to  Figaro (article paid)  : “The whole family Boudou is quoted on the testament, to the brother Johnny could not stand, while David and Laura, artists themselves, see them refuse even the right to listen to their father’s posthumous album project. ” Each clan, Hallyday and Boudou, close ranks, because the posthumous album of Johnny, which will be discussed at the hearing on March 15, is only the first round of a long and fierce battle.

Originally Published on francetvinfo

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