Bernard Tapie, the businessman, actor, former politician and one-time president of Olympique de Marseille soccer membership, whose larger-than-life profession and recurring authorized issues made him one in all France’s best-known personalities, has died aged 78.
Tapie, who led Marseille to the Champions League title in 1993 and whose enterprise pursuits additionally included a significant stake within the German sportswear model Adidas acquired in 1990, had been affected by abdomen most cancers for almost 5 years.
“Dominique Tapie and his household have the immense unhappiness to announce the dying of her husband and their father, Bernard Tapie, this Sunday,” his household mentioned in an announcement to La Provence newspaper, during which Tapie held a majority stake.
“He left peacefully, surrounded by his spouse, his kids and grandchildren, who have been at his bedside,” the assertion continued, including that Tapie wished to be buried in Marseille, “the town of his coronary heart”.
Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences, saying he and his spouse, Brigitte, have been “touched by the information of the dying of Bernard Tapie, whose ambition, power and enthusiasm have been a supply of inspiration for generations of French folks”.
The president mentioned Tapie had “a combativeness that might transfer mountains and take down the moon … He by no means gave up.” An enormous sports activities fan, Tapie additionally owned a biking staff that, anchored by Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond, twice received the Tour de France.
“I spoke with him by telephone early this 12 months. He mentioned, ‘I’m hanging on. You need to battle, you must consider’,” Hinault instructed Agence-France Presse on Sunday. “There are individuals who win and individuals who lose. He was among the many former.”
Olympique de Marseille, the place Tapie was president from 1986-94, mentioned it had realized “with deep unhappiness of the passing of Bernard Tapie. He’ll go away a fantastic void within the hearts of the Marseillais and can eternally stay within the legend of the membership.”
He guided OM to 5 successive French league triumphs and the 1-0 Champions League victory over AC Milan, the one time a French membership has received the trophy, however was later despatched to jail for corruption in a primary division match-fixing scandal.
Born the son of a plumber in a tough neighbourhood of Paris in 1943, Tapie turn out to be one in all France’s most profitable and high-profile businessmen, shopping for and reviving dozens of failing firms and revelling in his wealth with American-style aptitude.
He additionally sang, releasing a number of pop data within the late Nineteen Sixties together with a 1985 quantity referred to as Reussir Sa Vie, or Make a Success of your Life, and acted, taking up roles together with a police inspector within the well-liked TV present Commissaire Valence and a component in a Claude Lelouch film, and dabbled in politics.
Tapie grabbed nationwide consideration in a ferocious debate with the then chief of the far-right Entrance Nationwide, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 1989, and was elected an MP that 12 months, ultimately serving two stints as city affairs minister within the cupboard of Socialist president François Mitterrand within the early Nineteen Nineties.
“If you’ve received the Tour de France, the Champions League, you’ve been minister, singer, actor … what have I not completed? I can’t say I haven’t been spoiled rotten by life,” he instructed Le Monde in an interview in 2017.
However his success began unravelling within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, when enterprise woes and judicial investigations started piling up. In 1993, he offered Adidas in what turned the beginning of the longest and most complicated of the judicial sagas during which he was concerned.
The Adidas controversy – he would later name it the most important of all of the “silly errors” in his profession – dragged on for 20 years after he was compelled to promote the corporate to the state-owned financial institution Credit score Lyonnais.
Initially victorious in his declare that he was cheated over the sale value, Tapie was awarded €404m in 2008. However the payout sparked claims the ruling was rigged in his favour as a result of it was permitted by Christine Lagarde, finance minister within the authorities of the then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, a longtime Tapie ally.
A courtroom later discovered Tapie responsible of fraud and ordered him to repay the cash, a choice he appealed in opposition to and on which a courtroom is because of situation its ruling this week. Lagarde, now president of the European Central Financial institution, was discovered responsible of negligence in 2016.
AFP and Reuters contributed to this report